Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

Franz Ferdinand are asking; are you dancing?

Rating:

If all music must be a progression, then Franz Ferdinand might be in trouble. Their fourth album, ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’ is a thumping beast full of deliberate, sudden movements and big melodies. It’s Frankenstein on the dance floor of a Transylvanian indie disco. It’s art pop after dark. It’s, at least on the surface, exactly what’s expected of them.

But - but! - who said all music must move things forward? In the twilight hour that ‘Right Thoughts…’ resides the answer is almost certainly that, while it’s always nice to try something new, it’s preferable to do something good. With their finest threads on and a distinct whiff of Old Spice in the air, Franz Ferdinand are out to show exactly what has ascended them to that level of classic British bands; the ability to do what they do better than anybody else.

See, Franz have something special; a calling card groove that, once firmly slotted in place, is undeniable. Like a well oiled machine, if found everything else slots in to place perfectly. Riding the high hats and the clipped guitars of ‘Stand On The Horizon’, it’s impossible not to admire their unquestionable pomp. While, as time passes, other bands start to question the sound that made them, they’re unflinching in their self confidence. ‘Bullet’ - the perfect riposte to all the pretenders to their indie throne - is equal parts forceful and catchy, hinting that this is a band closer to their breakthrough brilliance than they have been for a good while.

From the spooky, swivel eyed horror of ‘Evil Eye’ to the lothario in cuban heels of ‘Love Illumination’, there are slight evolutions to the Franz Ferdinand template. The odd bit of brass here, a vintage synth or string section there; but, crucially, they never let things get too ostentatious. There’s a plan, and nobody - not even a band who could, by this point, do whatever they wanted - is forgetting it.

Does 2013 need a guitar act with an unquenchable thirst for sleazy, angular, hook laden pop? Why worry? They aren’t. With an arched eyebrow and a pair of freshly pressed trousers, Franz Ferdinand are asking; are you dancing?

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