The title of Franz Ferdinand’s fourth album invites the question: “Are they?” Have the Glasgow band got their choices “right”? The answer is moot. If you want a restating of first principles – wiggly hipped danceability and arch observations – after the awkward attempt to progress their sound on album three, then yes. If you feel that progression didn’t go far enough, it’s a no. True, “Fresh Strawberries” finds the pips of mortality stuck in its teeth while the nicely sour “Goodbye Lovers and Friends” is inspired by François Mitterrand’s funeral.
But it would be great to hear Alex Kapranos exploring his neuroses and becoming a British David Byrne circa Stop Making Sense (yes, I know Byrne was born in Scotland), not crooning about key parties, as on “Brief Encounters”. The disco lurch of “Evil Eye” or the slipped mantra of “Treason! Animals” could be staging posts. Then again, as he sings at one point: “Don’t fake your memories/Don’t give me virtues that I never had.”
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action