Album Reviews - Reviews

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action


Franz Ferdinand have kept a deliberately low profile ahead of their latest release, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, with lead singer Alex Kapranos having being quoted as saying that he felt “misinformation” had been forthcoming about their last album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. Being cut from a literary sort of cloth, there is – you’ve guessed it – a concept of sorts linking the songs, apparently based around the cynic’s search for optimism and the sceptic’s search for a manual ‘crop up’ here and there. Don’t follow Alex’s words? No, I don’t either, and if your listening pleasure is enhanced by a quest to extricate meaning and substance from eminently danceable and well-crafted indie-funk-pop, then you are more than welcome to your indulgence.

Franz Ferdinand quite literally burst onto the music scene over ten years ago, receiving all manner of plaudits before a CD had been burned, the toast of journos and hacks saying “these are the ones, folks” and they are one of the few bands that has managed to absorb the pre-natal plaudits and acclaim. Right Thoughts…. is no radical departure, no ‘band in transition’ affair. What is contained within are excellent pop tunes, raucous to the max; guitars set to somewhere orbiting Planet Funk, most of which would be ideal floor fillers at your local hostelry-cum-danceteria.

Opening track and lead single ‘Right Action’ hits the spot with its fists-in-the-air chorus, giving an example of what Franz Ferdinand have been doing right all these years. Simple phrases draped over catchy melodies, amounting to something not unfamiliar to what you used to hear on football terraces in the 70’s and 80’s, but ‘hey, we’d be too cool for that, wouldn’t we?’ Cast your mind back to You Could Have It So Much Better‘s ‘Do You Want To’. ‘Evil Eye’ sounds so 80’s that it could easily have played in the background on ‘Ashes to Ashes’.  ‘Love Illumination’ kicks into gear with a simple guitar hook and works its way into that part of your membrane reserved for punchy, catchy lines. ‘Treason! Animals’ and ‘Bullet’, on the other hand, have their roots in the originators of wordy and eloquent British funk rock, Gang of Four.

In all, there’s just that something throughout that harks back to the golden era of Bowie-esque dance pop. No radical shifts in musical direction to behold here but a recommended listen nonetheless. Jeremy Shields