Franz Ferdinand
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action


3.5
great

Review

by Ali CONTRIBUTOR (130 Reviews)
September 1st, 2013 | 29 replies | 2,320 views


Release Date: 08/26/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: *Resists title-related pun.*

I don't really consider myself part of any specific social group, lest not defined by musical taste. Instead, I'm something of a moderate in that I listen to a bit of everything, something which gives me common ground with virtually anyone and is reflected in my somewhat eclectic circle of friends. Some of them are into rave, others meat-headed metal. Some pass their time absorbing three-hour Autechre mixes, while others refuse to accommodate anything without the safety of a guitar. Some rarely even make strides outside of The Beach Boys, but there's one act for whom we all share an affection; one who ruled our formative years and continue to soundtrack roadtrips, lunchbreaks and houseparties to this very day. It takes a great band to bring such a diverse group of people together, and make no mistake - Franz Ferdinand are a great band.

Sadly, recent times have witnessed a reduction in those who share our passion. In fact, ever since their chart-conquering, Mercury Prize-winning peak around the mid-'00s, the Glaswegian's momentum has all but ground to a halt; a dip due not so much to the quality of their music as the sheer lack of it. Surfacing after a four year wait, 2009's harshly maligned Tonight: Franz Ferdinand was dominated by talk of scrapped collaborations with mainstream writing firm Xenomania, but this masked the wider issue that Franz - and guitar music as a whole - had fallen spectacularly out of vogue in their absence. Unfortunately, the slog has only persisted, with album number four following another lengthy layoff and singer Alex Kapranos' admission he considered calling time on the band - not exactly words to rev up hopes of a victorious return. It says much for their consistency, then, that even after such turmoil the strength of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action comes as a relief rather than any real surprise.

Much pre-release talk has been of a back-to-basics crowd-pleaser, but while the end result will have fans salivating this assessment is far from being an accurate one. Rather, the majority of Right Thoughts... not only presents a logical continuation of Tonight's synth-orientated dancefloor strut, but also strikes a far more natural balance between old and new than its slightly clunky predecessor. The production too is a big plus - the group's own mixes capturing a sharp, youthful vigour, adding punch and precision to a quartet who're pushing (and in Kapranos' case, well into) their forties.

Sound progress isn't all this record has in common with its forbearer - they also share a decidedly up-and-down trajectory, and regrettably the distinction of not every track being a corker. Its opening for one is nothing short of tremendous, the successive stomp of "Right Action," "Evil Eye" and "Love Illumination" fulfilling the need for classic Franz tracks, with each cranking proceedings up a notch with an onslaught of sensational hooks and deliriously danceable rhythms. Less familiar highlights come in the form of "Bullet" and "Treason! Animals.," whose excellence owe as much to sheer drive and momentum as they do to spiky riffs and additive choruses (although they, as ever, are in abundance), and "Stand on the Horizon," an ode to the vocalist's grandfather that's easily their most heartfelt and affecting moment to date. Elsewhere, however, things are less straightforward, with a noticeable mid-album dip preceding a curiously downtempo conclusion - a turn that's bold, if not entirely successful.

So where does this all leave Franz at such an uncertain and precarious stage in their career? Although uneven, there's more than enough winners here to keep obsessives like myself going, but for all the pre-release hype the lack of a big hit a la "Take Me Out," "Do You Want" to or even "Ulysses" means it's unlikely to have wayward followers crawling back. That said, let's not rob the sheen from an album which at times shines as bright as a band in their prime, and one which if nothing else is sure to be blazing at every social gathering I attend in coming months. I, for one, won't be complaining.



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Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 1st 2013



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also posted at http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Heart says 4, head says 3.5. Love it either way.

Having a shit time at the moment, so I've not written in ages. Feedback much appreciated.

SmersH
September 1st 2013



407 Comments


Very well said! Checking this out now... haven't given these guys much thought since the second LP.





Digging: Van der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts

Crawl
September 1st 2013



1597 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review, Ali. Album's good as well, can't decide between 3 and 3.5

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
September 1st 2013



1653 Comments


Great review! I really enjoyed their self-titled back in middle school, but seemed to skip the others. This sounds really good though

Cygnatti
September 1st 2013



21350 Comments


"Review Summary: *Resists title-related pun.*"

awwwww

Lakes.
September 1st 2013



26924 Comments


Franz Ferdibland

Digging: The Suicide Machines - Destruction By Definition

Cygnatti
September 1st 2013



21350 Comments


they're no the national, that's for sure.

Cygnatti
September 1st 2013



21350 Comments


cmon lakes, how do you not dig this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr1jg2DFrGY

Lakes.
September 1st 2013



26924 Comments


here's a better song called michael: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrT0OZsdFfU

Cygnatti
September 1st 2013



21350 Comments


okay lakie, that's not even fair. did you even listen to it?

Lakes.
September 1st 2013



26924 Comments


yes

Adabelle
September 1st 2013



4254 Comments


Perfect

WhiteNoise
September 1st 2013



3107 Comments


"Heart says 4, head says 3.5. Love it either way"

Definitely agree with this

tommygun
September 1st 2013



24571 Comments


good review ali

might jam to see if this has any tunes like walk away

fuck me i used to love that song

Digging: Broods - Evergreen

tcat84
September 2nd 2013



826 Comments


hmm... tonight was kinda boring, but I own and used to frequently spin their their first two so might check this out

Polyethylene
September 2nd 2013



3058 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tonight is their best

blastOFFitsPARTYtime
September 2nd 2013



1477 Comments


Sounds aight, will check.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2013



6443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Heart says 4, head says 3.5. Love it either way.[2]

The album lacks a bit of replay value, but I'm so glad they're back. And they're still one of the best live bands in the world imo.

Very nice read, good job!

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

greg84
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2013



7363 Comments


Awesome review! I've never heard any of their albums. Will check this one out for sure.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
September 2nd 2013



7326 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a lot guys.

Greg, if nothing else you should give their debut a try. It was one of my favourites of the '00s, severely underrated on here.



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