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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Franz Ferdinand Makes a Worthy Return

Published: September 20, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

The Glaswegian post-punk Franz Ferdinand band members are gods. Their second album, “You Could Have It So Much Better,” was one of the first modern albums that I ever bought myself on vinyl, and they were the primary reason that I attended my first Coachella.
The indie-rock band was formed in 2002, and consists of four members. Part of the post-punk revival with other well-known names like The Kaiser Chiefs and the Arctic Monkeys, their self-titled debut brought us classic songs like “Take Me Out” and “This Fire.” Even though 2007’s “Tonight” was a bit of a drop in quality compared to their first two albums, its dance inspiring, club-beat songs were still pretty fun.
It has been about six years since that release, and it’s been a tough six years indeed. Until the announcement of “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action” last year, there was no news from the band, and rumors of a breakup circulated the Internet. Ever the devoted fan, I was ecstatic and pre-ordered the deluxe version of the album on iTunes. I did, however, have reservations; “Tonight” disappointed me because FF ditched their trademark guitar sound for synths. Lucky for me, “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action” is a return to their previous form.
The album begins with classic Franz Ferdinand tunes, “Right Action,” “Evil Eye,” and “Love Illumination.” All three are very fun to listen to and are welcome on a dance or party playlist. “Stand on the Horizon,” is an arrogant apology song, with the great line “how can I tell you I was wrong?/When I’m the cruelest man you know.” “Fresh Strawberries” is a weak point for the record, with cheesy lyrics about love, coming off just as a token slower song. “Bullet” and “Treason! Animals.” sound like B-sides from the first Franz Ferdinand album, in a very good way. “Right Thoughts” hits another snag, with “The Universe Expanded,” a faux-psychedelic homage, which just sounds out of place.
The track “Brief Encounters” is a great rock song; it has a really cool guitar riff, chorus and even a funky synthesizer bridge that make it stand out well. The final song, “Goodbye Lovers and Friends” is another classic Franz Ferdinand song that closes off the album very well. Overall, “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action” is not the triumphant return or the magnum opus that fans may yearn for from the band, but maybe we just expect too much from them. It is a perfectly solid alternative rock album with some very good songs, and at the end of the day it signifies the return of one of my favorite bands, and that’s what really matters.