Friday, February 27, 2009, 08:41 PM ( 3160 views ) - CD Reviews - Posted by dagmarsieglindeFranz Ferdinandís third CD, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, is glossy. Itís physically shiny, the liner notes and cover are silky to the touch and the cover photo is a dramatic and distinctive black-and-white shot from the magical Danish photographer SÝren Solkśr Starbird. Youíve probably seen his work on the Raveonettesí Chain Gang of Love and Whip It On CDs.
So how does it sound? When I first heard Ulysses, the first single, I didnít know what to think. I donít know if itís because I love this band so much that I was extra-critical and I have high expectations of them. Then I listened to Ulysses again and again and then some more. It grew on me. The CD's got great 70s-inspired rock and glam guitar riffs, itís got disco beats and some really unusual yet appealing tempo changes. Maybe I wasnít paying close enough attention the first time around on their prior releases, but I am struck by the sweet drumming of Paul Thomson Ė heís top. There is more synth on this CD. Thatís obvious and itís cool. Thereís quite a bit of complex bass work by Bob Hardy too Ė listen to Live Alone and Canít Stop Feeling and isnít that something of a gorgeous accomplishment? I like the skipping nature of this music. Itís choppy and still itís shiny. Lucid Dreams eventually breaks down into a funky instrumental of strange elegance. Itís a risky song and probably my favorite track. Or maybe my favorite is the spooky Twilight Omens, a very classic swirling tune.
Though itís got a lot of fast disco tunes itís also got a ballad, Katherine Kiss Me and Alex Kapranos has a nice purr in No You Girls especially. The vocals of Nick McCarthy and Kapranos always gel and jar where they should. This CD is worth the wait since 2005ís You Could Have It So Much Better.
Listen to Ulysses and watch the video for Ulysses here.