Franz Ferdinand spent a year zipping around the planet, playing their tunes to millions of people, picking up of awards, but more importantly, they made pop music a wee bit exciting again. Now the internationally acclaimed band returns with their new record You Could Have It So Much Better which features 13 new tracks and the new hit single everyone's been raving about, 'Do You Want To'. Epic. 2005.
After more than a year spent on the road behind their breakthrough self-titled debut--just how many times can Alex Kapranos sing "Take Me Out" without getting his skinny tie into a knot, anyway?--you might expect the members of Franz Ferdinand to feel a little frayed around the edges. But if You Could Have It So Much Better
was supposed to be a bloated sophomore album focusing on bad airline meals and cold hotel swimming pools, somebody forgot to tell the Mercury Music Prize winning Scottish quartet. Instead, the Franzies return with a disc packed with thrilling punk-pop treatises like the single "Do You Want To," political rabble-rousers such as opener "The Fallen," and lovely psychedelic ballads that explore the common ground between the Beatles and Bowie, like "Eleanor Put You Boots On" (about Eleanor Freidberger of the Fiery Furnaces, no less). It's a stunning, confident piece of work that suggests the band is merely getting started. --Aidin Vaziri