Franz Ferdinand | Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Domino)

cd_franz.jpgThis CD is more electronica than previous ones but it hides just under its disguised rock ‘n’ roll surface.







In a multimedia age it’s not unusual for any particular song to surface upon multiple platforms other than radio. In fact, if a band doesn’t have a song or two turning up in television commercials, the internet or any other alternative media outlet, it’s pretty rare and often not a good sign.

Giving placement princess Ingrid Michaelson a run for her money, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the musical act’s most recent release, has obviously become one of the year’s most marketed albums. With the group’s first release, "No You Girls," finding its way onto the brand-new iPod Touch commercial, and "Turn It On" placed in a recent preview for ABC’s newest primetime drama Castle, the new album has come out of the gate strong. In fact, NME Magazine recently reported the band even turned down a deal that would use one of the songs off the album in a U.S. Mexican food change ad. With that in mind, it goes without saying that if you haven’t heard one of their songs in some form by now, then you probably haven’t been paying attention.

While it has been met with less-than-raving reviews in many highly recognized media outlets, the album has personally become one of my favorites and has found a permanent home in my CD player. At first listen the tracks came off as a tad deep and sadistic; a huge leap from the Franz Ferdinand norm. It’s during the second play that you realize just how hot these tracks really are. A perfect example of this is "Lucid Dreams." Just under eight minutes long, what begins as a run-of-the-mill alternative track quickly morphs into a serious rock song that eventually turns into what can only be described as industrial electronica. It’s during the song’s extended instrumental ending you realize the quality of this album and the serious blood and sweat that was put into it all.

This CD is without a doubt more electronica than previous ones but it hides just under its disguised rock ‘n’ roll surface. Now and again you get a taste of it, but most of its electronica influence is subtle. Probably because of this characteristic, and lead singer Alex Kapranos’ vocals, every song on the album has that early David Bowie sound to it.

Disc opener "Ulysses" gets the award for most likeable track with indiscernible lyrics. It’s an awesome way to start the Ferdinand experience, with but what it’s exactly about I haven’t a clue. "No You Girls" and "Turn It On," as expected from their placements, are enthusiastic and rock-out hits that blow the previous song to bits. It took half a dozen plays of "No You Girls" before I realized the lyrics I thought were "lick your cigarette then kiss me" were actually "flick your cigarette then kiss me."

"Twilight Omens" is a little slower but keeps up the enthusiastic nature of the album with its use of long-winded but spot-on lyrics that get stuck in your head. Lastly, "Can’t Stop Feeling" is another must-hear dance track that conjures up images of summer fun and just having a good time.

In between the album’s initial enthusiastic tracks and "Lucid Dreams" is a long set of less-than-stellar ones. Some of these tend to feel a bit too emo to really be considered, but aren’t enough to define the album. A | Jennifer Manjarez

RIYL: The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian

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