Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Oct. 6, 2005

You could have it so much better with Franz Ferdinand

by Eve Gleichman, Online Editor-in-Chief
It is a sad thing to watch a potentially great band deteriorate after an inspiring first album. Second-album downfalls have happened to the best rock n' roll artists (Ryan Adams comes to mind), and are unfortunately sure to plague the work of emerging artists across the board. With Franz Ferdinand's wowing eponymous first release in 2004, avid followers may have worried that this precise symptom might afflict to their favorite Scottish rock quartet.

For this reason, I ripped the plastic wrapping from "You Could Have it So Much Better" with apprehension. But now, it is my honor to report, Franz fans, that your boys have not surrendered their sound in their second album. The band's initial aim was to "make girls dance or something," and with this release, Franz Ferdinand is sure to keep you girls and guys dancing to the pop-rock beats that you've come to love so well.

The album is most fun with tracks like "Do You Want To" and "This Boy," which are held together with steady upbeat drumming and catchy choruses. "You're the Reason I'm Leaving" serves as a solid centerpiece for the album, packed with the lyrical and instrumental turns so revered from Franz Ferdinand's debut.

That is not to say that the album only triumphs with the high-energy cuts traditionally celebrated by Franz fans. "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" is almost Beatle-esque, capturing a deeper side of these boys not exposed before, and "Walk Away" combines resentful lyrics with gentle guitar chords, providing listeners with a new sound midway through the album.

"You Could Have it So Much Better" continues with a stream of up-tempo cuts, as if to compensate for potential misfires with the two slower tracks. "I'm Your Villain" and "Outsiders" are most memorable of this album's energetic bursts, while the title-track is, while just as danceable as the rest, not so inspiring. With the exception of this average cut, the CD is without disappointments as long as you know what to expect from these whacky kids in matching outfits.

Before you run out and buy this album (which you should), make sure you know exactly what you're getting into. Do not expect to exchange your $15 for profound lyrics or intricate guitar riffs. For it is the stomping, up-tempo nature of the brief cuts that makes the album one big dance party, which is exactly what Franz Ferdinand does best.

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  • junior on October 7, 2005 at 12:15 PM
    indeed. i had the same initial worries about the possible letdown, so i listened to it last of the five albums i bought on wednesday. luckily it was not a let down. my favorite track is probably evil and a villian..
  • Nice title. on October 22, 2005 at 4:51 PM
    Where'd you ever come up with it?
  • =) on November 28, 2005 at 7:31 PM
    Great's nice to see some non-mainstream bands get positive reviews.
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