Album Review
by SashaS

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FF: 'You Could Have It So Much Better'
Franz Ferdinand: 'You Could Have It So Much Better'
Franz Ferdinand: crucial step to Mount Eternal

Franz Ferdinand debut album earned them the well-deserved Mercury Music Prize, bagged them a couple of Brit gongs, Ivor Novello, MTV trophies… The second album has eagerly been awaited and the men haven’t failed to deliver. ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ is an album that confirms the quality of the debut but it also maps the band’s evolution.

Lead-off single-surefire-hit ‘Do You Want To’ was a huge slice of pop-danceable tune that got the girls’ hearts and boys’ attention. Vibrant, energetic, sounding like you’ve not heard it before - with a lot of tempo changes, musically exploring outside the confines of what a chart song should be - but still as poppy as an [ear] infection.

They’ve now learnt to slow down and make songs for more intimate dancing such as ‘Walk Away’… On the other end of sonic spectrum is the Led Zeppelin-sized riffarama of the opener ‘The Fallen’, the frantic ‘Evil And A Heathen’, The Beatles-esque ‘Eleanor Put Your Boots On’, the split-personality of ‘Well That Was Easy’, the dynamic ‘I’m Your Villain’, or the surge of the titular track…

FF slow it down on the penultimate ‘Fade Together’ before concluding with ‘Outsiders’ that manages to combine Joe Meek’s ethereal approach with Roxy Music if they were doing spaghetti-western soundtrack song… Exquisite.

‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ is richer sounding, instrumentally adventurous with bigger and braver arrangements, its ambition as huge as a Glasgow’s kiss… But, not to the expense of melody, or the astute lyrics by Alex. There are more sounds here without going OTT; '... So Much Better' is strangely crammed disc with an economic perspective.

Franz Ferdinand are having fun and making songs to delight nations. Again.

The top of the Brit class.


Franz Ferdinand’s album ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ is released 03 October 2005 by Domino