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Franz FerninandFranz Ferdinand | Franz Ferdinand
a ryan j. mack review

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I happened to be in Scotland in January, and in a music store- - pretty close to heaven for me. The Glasgow music scene has to be one of the best in the world. It's a city just churning out bands nothing like each other except that they're all totally unique and totally incredible- - Belle and Sebastian, Mogwai, The Delgados, The Songs and Daughters, The Sluts of Trust...

So I had been poking around used CD stores in search of something I couldn't get in America at all (or yet). And there it was! A single for Franz Ferdinand's 'Take Me Out.'

Now, at this point the dollar was dropping to about two dollars to one pound, and on the backpacker budget, I could only think about how I was going to be paying for cups of tea for the next three years. Oh, what's a girl to do?

She buys music and skips breakfast. Obviously.

Not to worry. It was only two pounds. If it was terrible- - only three songs and four dollars. I wasn't hungry anyway. But it wasn't terrible. It was the opposite of terrible. It was also the day before I left, and the full disc wasn't out in domestic release in the US yet, and three songs just wasn't enough. As it turns out, when I bought it two months later in the US after its domestic release here, the whole CD is never enough.

Even under the intense pressure of a pre-release media fanfare, Franz Ferdinand has stood up. They are the next big British thing. Not one but three successful singles in the UK and USA- - Take Me Out, Matinee, and Darts of Pleasure- - prove they're not just a single sensation. Hell, you can even see them on MTV. Briefly. They're hot and they're talented. That's one sexily dangerous combination.

EVERY track is good. They're smolder with the ability to draw you out and build you up, till they just explode. It starts with Jacqueline, quiet lyrics over near acoustic music. Then- - there it is. Like a shotgun of anthematic proportion. Track three is the first single, Take Me Out, which does the opposite- - starting out huge and slowing in the middle. By this point you're heart is pumping to the beat of the music- - a perfect time for the near marching The Dark of the Matinee. Okay, there are a lot of tracks on this album, (and, lest you think I'm overly gushy, Tell Her Tonight might be slightly sup-par, and Cheating on You is repetitive internally and musically in the album as a whole). Other highlights include the lusty Michael and the standout, arguably best track- - Darts of Pleasure. (FYI: The German at the end? Ich heisse super fantastiche/Ich trinke champers mit lachsfisch? Translation: I am called super fantastic/I drink champers with salmon.)
They also have a preternaturally powerful tour right now that is even better than the record. They're not messing around.

I can't wait for them to do more. Franz Ferdinand takes the sappy radio-conforming ironic emo schmaltz out of rock and makes it pulse-poundingly speaker-blastingly hot. Remember rock? Because they do and you will. Just listen: "This fire is out of control/I'm going to burn this city/burn this city/If this fire is out of control/then I/ I'm out of control/And I burn."

So do I.

So will you.

Thank you, Glasgow


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