catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 4, Num 6 :: 2005.03.25 — 2005.04.07


Franz Ferdinand

Entertainment Weekly?s ?Best of? edition for 2004 has two lists the top ten albums of the year. The list by Tom Sinclair places Franz Ferdinand?s self-titled debut album at number four. The album has also been hailed by Rolling Stone

as one of the fifty best records of 2004.

The music of Franz Ferdinand has been given many labels: new wave, dance rock, Brit-pop, and neo-retro. Whatever else they may call it, most critics have also called it great. The music on this album has a groove that takes on a life of its own. In several interviews the guys from Franz Ferdinand have stated that the ultimate purpose of their music is to make people dance. They?ve succeeded with me. Toe-tapping and head bopping are frequent occurrences whenever I play this album.

While it might be the case that they just want to make people dance, don?t make the mistake of assuming that their songs are exercises in frivolity. Their poppy rock-n-roll creates a dark irony when contrasted with the weighty subject matter of several of their songs. These guys are wrestling with the questions of life, meaning, and purpose. While honestly wrestling with the ins and outs of human relationships, Franz Ferdinand are able to avoid letting their songs become mired in uncontrolled emotionalism. This is a testimony to their talent as songwriters as well as the fact that, while there is a congruity in their music, each song on this album is truly distinct from the rest.

While I can?t agree with all the messages this album contains, I have to recognize the value of this album as a piece of good art. Since good, non-commercialized rock is hard to find in today?s music culture I raise a toast of champers to Franz Ferdinand. Their popularity continues to grow and hopefully we will hear more great music from these Scots before long.

This review was originally published by Ransom Fellowship with a song-by-song discussion guide.

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