It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard anything from the Glaswegian natives Franz Ferdinand. Back in 2009, they’d remixed their third album Tonight as a jaunty experiment entitled Blood: Franz Ferdinand. It was a nice idea at the time, and something to whet our teeth on until they re-emerged with their next full length. Toward the end of May, they did just that, announcing they would release Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action on August 26th. With that date rushing towards us a bit under two months away, their first two singles debuted on Youtube this past Wednesday, June 27th.
“Right Action” is an answer to whether or not Franz Ferdinand has slowed down as they have aged – the song is quite to the contrary. It bursts out of the gates, with lead singer Alex Kapranos warbling “Come home, practically all is nearly forgiven” – it’s as if the band’s been gone for a while but is telling us everything will work out just fine. We’re still here to party, and we have just the right words, right thoughts, and right action to get us back to the same place we fell in love with each other. The song opens the album, and leads me to believe it will start the album off on a good foot.
“Love Illumination” is an even livelier song, I believe, and I hope this pushes the album a bit further in tone. It seems to me that, in general, bands tend to get themselves to a distinct place tonally by the third or fourth album, and their previous albums bring them to that place. “Love Illumination” sounds like a song that could have been on Tonight, but with a history there to remind you of their first two albums. When a band gets to somewhere on this level, they can fall into the trap of sounding blandly unoriginal. Instead, “Love Illumination” excites me about what the rest of the album will bring. I’m a sucker for trumpets, and Franz sticks them into the background fuzz to add a bit of depth between their typical guitar-and-bass. I believe this will be a gem from the album.
In all, this brings me hope that Right Thoughts… will be closer to the style FF was going for with its sophomore album, You Could Have It So Much Better, an album I count as highly underrated. While the band has progressed over the years, especially with the dancier Tonight, I can count on the time in between the albums as a chance to have grown. Kapranos produced a handful of albums in his time off, while bassist Nick McCarthy has headlined another band, Box Codax, since 2006. This leads me to believe that the down time has resulted in some magic set aside for the band’s fourth album.
My biggest hope is that this album builds as much excitement that Franz’s first two did, because much like their 2000’s counterparts, The Strokes, I don’t want to see them fade away into complacency. These first two songs are steps I believe that will keep them away from it. I know I’m still looking forward to August, I hope you are too!