Franz Ferdinand- You Could Have It So Much Better
Release Date: October 4, 2005 Sony
After glancing at the album art of the new Franz Ferdinand album, “You Could Have It So Much Better,” I realized I want to be like her. After listening to this stunning sophomore effort, I want to shout “Franz Ferdinand!” to all in hearing distance. Last year, Franz shocked the music world, writing catchy singles, winning awards, and selling millions of their self-titled debut. Quite honestly, I was getting sick of them last year. I never want to hear “Take Me Out” again and I truly thought their next album was going to suck. I thought Franz would just churn out 13 versions of “Take Me Out” for their next album. Fortunately, I was wrong. The title of the album, “You Could Have It So Much Better,” is like a prophecy, telling listeners to forget about the debut, because this is superior to the debut. This Glasgow quartet (consisting of lead singer and guitarist Alex Kapranos, guitarist Nick McCarthy, bassist Bob Hardy, and drummer Paul Thomson) picks up the speed when needed but knows when to drop it down a notch, because too much speed can wear you out. “You Could Have It So Much Better” is the kind of irresistible dance/pop-rock album I’ve been waiting for all year, so take Panic! At The Disco out of your stereo, because Franz Ferdinand is back to take the dance-pop throne.
Franz starts it up with the groovy and up-tempo opening track, “The Fallen.” Kapranos and McCartney’s guitars go back and forth to give this song movement, while Hardy and Thomson give you the head-bobbing and toe-tapping beat. “Do You Want To,” the album’s first single, features one of the catchiest hooks I’ve heard all year. Kapranos sings over a “doot doo doot” vocal hook, and the bass weaves and bounces throughout the song. “Walk Away” is not your typical Franz Ferdinand song. Instead of the usual pep, we get a somber slow track about a rough breakup. Kapranos croons on this track with lyrics like “I love the sound of you walking away…and I’m cold, yes I’m cold/But not as cold as you are.” Lyrically and vocally, Kapranos shines. He can speed it up and slow it down when needed, and the vocals are less annoying this time around. “Evil And A Heathen” is a fast, short track that’ll leave you out of breath. A song that stands out from the rest is “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”, which also shows a different side of Franz. It is a ballad featuring saloon pianos and acoustic guitars with a little Modest Mouse mixed in. I love it. “What You Meant” is a chill song, followed by the funky “I’m Your Villain”. The title track of this album is another fast number that will have you singing the chorus for hours. “Outsiders” ends this album with a disco vibe mixed in with a jam session. One thing I love about this stellar album is that it’s consistent throughout. The faster songs are placed perfectly in this album, while the slow songs come just at the right time to give you a rest.
“You Could Have It So Much Better” has one-upped the debut album by a lot. Franz Ferdinand has fine-tuned their arty dance-pop to near perfection. Don’t expect something groundbreaking; just expect a very well written, 41-minute dance-fest. Yes, the radio and MTV have whored them out, but don’t hold that against Franz Ferdinand. So go out and listen to “You Could Have It So Much Better.” Your ears and feet will thank you later. Now, if you’ll excuse me, that girl and I have some more shouting to do.
i honestly dont think that franz is overrated at all. they get so much shit cause critics like them and all, but when you really sit down and listen to them, they write some damn good songs. nobody else that i know can write songs as catchy as "do you want to" and "i'm your villian."