Franz Ferdinand

Domino Records, 2009

REVIEW BY: Peter Vissers


On 28th of June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, son of Karl Ludwig of Austria and heir to the crown, was assassinated in Sarajevo. His death caused Austria-Hungary to declare war against Serbia. The countries allied with Austria-Hungary and the countries allied with Serbia almost immediately declared war on each other. The death of Franz started World War I.

Now, almost 95 years later, the four guys from Scotland who call themselves Franz Ferdinand have released their third album.

Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut album was a huge success, selling 3.6 million copies and earning critical acclaim. Their second album, You Could Have It So Much Better, received a warm welcome as well, even though it wasn’t renewing like Franz Ferdinand. After all, the album still went platinum and reached #1 in the UK charts. Considering the achievements of their previous albums, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, will almost certainly be a huge success.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album starts off with the song “Ulysses,” which is also the first single they released. I immediately noticed that it sounds rather much like what we heard on their first album. That’s not a bad thing, though! They do make a lot more use of synthesizers and other electronic musical instruments, however. The second track, “Turn It On,” is easy on the ear but turns out to be a bit of a cliché. Even though it’s very predictable and straightforward, it’s a pretty decent song. The next song, “No You Girls,” is probably one of the best songs of the album. It’s a lot more complicated than “Turn It On” but it is easy on the ear as well.  It’s funky and fun!

At this point, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand suddenly changes into something we never heard from the band before. All of the sudden, the songs become darker and more sophisticated and this is where the best part of the album begins.

“Twilight Omens” is a bit more dark and sinister. At first I thought it was rather annoying, but after listening to it a few times it turns out to be pretty good. It sounds a bit like Franz Ferdinand covering a Beatles song. “Bite Hard” starts off gently but soon transforms into an addicting and fast-paced indie rock song. This is one of those songs you’ll keep playing over and over again. “Can’t Stop Feeling” sounds like a roller-skate disco being invaded by a Brit pop band. Perhaps the most sophisticated song of the album is “Lucid Dreams.” It’s kind of psychedelic and features loads of weird sounds, synthesizers and a complicated song structure.

And then there’s “Katherine Kiss Me,” which is a very corny but beautifully performed song. It’s a slightly edited version of “No You Girls.” They changed the lyrics, chords and song structure and decided to play it acoustically.

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is an experimental, funky and fun record. I still think their debut album is better but this certainly beats their second one. Franz Ferdinand has always been very recognizable and they still are. They did have the guts to release something a bit different this time, though. Overall, it’s a very good album and I’d certainly recommend it to everyone looking for something a bit different – just not too different.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2009 Peter Vissers and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Domino Records, and is used for informational purposes only.