Franz Ferdinand
You Could Have It So Much Better


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
March 16th, 2009 | 93 replies | 6,503 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Living up to previous high standards can be a b!tch, but Franz Ferdinand have done a good job with this fun & cohesive LP which after a fantastic start does not contain the same depth of quality as its predecessor.

What exactly is in Britain’s drinking water that makes their residents such an opportunistic lot? Like Oasis before them and the Arctic Monkeys after them, Scottish 4 piece Franz Ferdinand have wasted no time in capitalizing on the success and critical acclaim of their debut album by releasing their follow-up well within a 2 year timeframe.

Interestingly titled ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’, any concerns of a dip in quality due to a rushed release are initially unwarranted, as the first 2 tracks are both fantastic and contain all of the band’s trademark qualities. 3rd single and album opener ‘The Fallen’ includes those superb guitar hooks which were all over their self-titled debut LP. Meanwhile, lead vocalist Alex Kapranos seems even more assured here as he attacks the wordy lyrics with supreme confidence, while the “woo woo” backing vocals and “la la la” bridge work a treat.

Providing a nice counter-balance, lead single ‘Do You Want To’ follows with the humorously playful opening of “Well I woke up tonight and said I’m gonna make somebody love me… And now I know that it’s you. You’re lucky, lucky, you’re so lucky”. The glorious glam stomp which follows is likeable, catchy, entertaining and extremely memorable. It is genuinely pleasing to see that the band has not got too enamored with their own success, as they clearly don’t take themselves too seriously here.

One of the minor weaknesses of their self-titled debut was the lack of a genuinely great ballad. On face value, Kapranos’ charming voice should lend itself to pulling off such a feat successfully and Franz Ferdinand rightly take 3 stabs at it here. Easily the best of them is 2nd single ‘Walk Away’, which contains a lovely guitar-driven melody and superior vocal harmonies. Later, the piano-driven duo of 4th single ‘Eleanor Put Your Boots On’ and ‘Fade Together’ both provide for some nice variety, even if they won’t be to everyone’s liking.

However, the depth of quality from the debut is clearly not as evident here on ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’. This is not helped by the fact that Franz get the track-ordering a little wrong with the lead three singles and LP highlights being positioned within the opening 4 (of 13) tracks. It is not as if there are any bad songs following the opening quartet, but cuts such as ‘Youre The Reason Im Leaving’, ‘Well That Was Easy’ and ‘What You Meant’ all fail to live up to this album’s highlights or pretty much anything from their debut. Wisely, most of these tracks are short and direct.

The overall description of “solid, but relatively unmemorable” is generally apt, but probably a little harsh on the bass-driven ‘Im Your Villain’, which switches tempo throughout and is simultaneously complex and straight-forward to have it rise above the pack. Could at least some of these songs have been improved if this album was not released as soon as it was? Possibly. One thing that is for certain is that the LP is worse off for excluding the catchy and extremely melodic ‘L.Wells’, which was not recorded in time for the album’s release and was eventually used as the B-Side to ‘The Fallen’.

Living up to previous high standards can be a b!tch sometimes and it is difficult for any listener not to compare ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ with Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut. The excellence of the first 2 tracks build up false hope to some extent, but in comparison, the remainder of the LP clearly does not contain the same depth of quality as its predecessor. While many songs are better in the moment rather than being memorable, this is still a very good album in isolation and a fun and cohesive listen overall.

Recommended Tracks: The Fallen, Do You Want To, Walk Away & I’m Your Villain.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So, what do you Brits drink?

taylormemer
March 16th 2009



4915 Comments


What exactly is in Britain’s drinking water that makes their residents such an opportunistic lot?

The Brits are optimists?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



17920 Comments


is that a joke those words don't mean the same thing

charlesfishtitz
March 16th 2009



784 Comments


chhhhmmmmpppmmnh

taylormemer
March 16th 2009



4915 Comments


is that a joke those words don't mean the same thing

Clearly Chan.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



17920 Comments


i can never tell with you you are always so super serious wtf

taylormemer
March 16th 2009



4915 Comments


Can't we just kiss and make up already!

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



17920 Comments


k : D

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Well that was easy" for you "outsiders". Now "walk away" because "you could have it so much better".

charlesfishtitz
March 16th 2009



784 Comments


do you want to this boy?

taylormemer
March 16th 2009



4915 Comments


"Well that was easy" for you "outsiders". Now "walk away" because "you could have it so much better".

That could have been so much better

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know "what you meant", but now "You're the reason I'm leaving".

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



17920 Comments


"sometimes" i think you "guys" are incredibly "gay"

MassiveAttack
March 16th 2009



2688 Comments


"b!tch"

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

To those who bet on Chan saying his favorite word on the first page of these comments, please line up to collect your winnings. For every $1 you put on, you will get $1.05 back.

Jim
March 16th 2009



5110 Comments


fuck i had 33-1 that he wouldn't =(

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, you know what happens when you bet on the long-shot Jim!

Now go get on Richo to win the Coleman!

Jim
March 16th 2009



5110 Comments


nah buddy and fev all the way

richo's big scoring days are behind him unfortunately with his new wing role =(

Vooligan
March 16th 2009



3541 Comments


Richo for the Brownlow, he got robbed last year. For the Coleman, my tip is Buddy again, he's such a freak.
Nice review btw Davey.

Jim
March 16th 2009



5110 Comments


it would be nice for richo to take the big one, but i'll believe it when i see it. if he can match his form from last year (which is a big ask), he's every chance.

buddy for the coleman for sure. if fev had even better delivery he'd be unstoppable.



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