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You Could Have It So Much Better

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You Could Have It So Much Better Cover art After loving their first record and having had the pleasure to see them naked play live, twice, with them playing quite a number of new songs during the gigs, I was really looking forward to Franz Ferdinand's new album You Could Have It So Much Better.

And it lived up to the high expectations. A very good record and one that will get its good share of rotation. And as far as the enthusiasm after the first number of listenings goes it's not just coming with stylishly retro cover art but is also full of new favourite songs. It opens with the powerful The Fallen, which is easily my favourite of the album. A good song, cool lyrics with the odd bit of arty-farty German, mentioning of everyone's second-most-favourite supermarket

Some say you're trouble, boy
Just because you like to destroy.
All the things that bring the idiots joy.
Well, what's wrong with a little destruction?

And the Kunst won't talk to you,
Because you kissed St Rollox Adieu;
Because you robbed a supermarket or two.
Well, who gives a damn about the prophets of Tesco?

and a what I'm tempted to consider one of the coolest sections of melody and song ever

So I'm sorry if I ever resisted.
I never had a doubt you ever existed.
I only have a problem when people insist on
Taking their hate and placing it on your name.

And while we probably can't have it much better, this is followed by Do You Want To, the first single, which is catchy, I love your friends / they're all so arty – a bit too catchy, annoyingly catchy even, after having listened to it a few times. Next we pick up some velocity with This Boy who's not a boy but a wealthy bachelor and also appreciates cars and drugs. Just to slow down a bit with Walk Away which contains the wonderful lines I love the sound of you walking away / you walking away / Mascara bleeds a blackened tear and ends with a strange world-wide historical run-down The stab of stilettos / On a silent night / Stalin smiles and Hitler laughs / Churchill claps Mao Tse-Tung on the back.

Evil and a Heathen then starts with a nice rhythmic bit which beats us through the two minutes of the song along the nice line I'm evil and a heathen. You're the Reason I'm Leaving then gives the reason for leaving – I don't owe you / and I I don't want to / You're so awkward just like me / But I don't care – while keeping up the pace until Eleanor Put Your Boots Back On starts and gives us a slower and slightly untypical treat with acoustic guitar and some (electric) piano goodness around New York

Eleanor put those boots back on
Kick the heels into the Brooklyn dirt
I know it isn't dignified to run
But if you run you can run to the Coney Island roller coaster
Ride to the highest point
And leap across the filthy water
Leap until the gulf streams brought you down

After this we pick up the old pace again with Well That Was Easy which is full of the Franz Ferdinand goodness we've come to expect: The start right into the song with Well that was easy, waiting / Everything's easy now to the slightly relaxed side thoughts of I used to lock myself in your bathroom / swallowing the Codeine kept for your back / Numb, so numb and I watched you clean the filth off your phone dial / Swallowing things your finger picked up / Tongue, your tongue and loads of That was easys in there. Perhaps another song on the catchy side. A nice one.

Next comes the slightly slower What You Meant that's very friendly and relaxed and full of nice words in its lyrics.

As I took step number four
Into the close of your tenement.
You cast your darkened eyes so low
Said we're cold as the step cement.
But I just don't know – oh –
what you meant, what you meant.

So Alec you may want a pill,
We are so cruel to communicate.
Without the red stuff being spilled,
We must MDMA our sentiment.
But I just don't know – oh –
what you meant, what you meant.

If we were feckless we'd be fine;
Sucking hard on our innocence. But we've been bright in our decline
Been left as blackened filament
But I just don't know – oh –
I don't know / What did you mean.

'Cause I feel blood inside the vein,
I feel life inside the ligament.
I feel alive yeah just the same,
Same vigour and the same intent.
So I just don't know – oh –
if that's what you meant.

I'm Your Villain then continues the record but is a little too long for my taste and thus keeps us from hearing You Could Have It So Much Better, which sounds a bit less bold than the other songs on the album but leaves the impression that the band were trying to wrap a message about the media or so in there. Nice one.

Fade Together then gives us a slightly softer and boring impression that the album might just be ending but it doesn't just yet as Outsiders with its chirpy guitar sound and percussion gets that job.

Altogether the album turned out rather well. Not every song is perfect but most are very close. Very nice.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

October 5, 2005, 0:39

Tagged as music.

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