It's been a while since we heard anything from these Scottish rockers, but they finally gave us a new album this year and it was well worth the wait. The album is filled with catchy songs that they are known for. Here, you'll find the classic sound they have established over the years, along with new musicals influences that range from funk to 80's new wave. It's a great record that makes you want to listen to each song over and over again.
The album opens with the spunky “Right Action,” that has a jangly guitar riff, which is reminiscent of their earlier hit “Take Me Out.” This song is the type we expect from the band: cool music and a catchy hook that keeps you singing, but it's here where you can hear their new influences come into play. It's not overwhelming but the beat of the music has this slight funk feel to it that makes you want to dance. Plus, it has an irresistible bridge that hums “Doo-doot-doo-doo-dooo-doo.”
The next track “Evil Eye” is among one of the best from the album. The music has a dark vibe to it, especially the guitar riff, which sounds sneaky and sinister. Even the vocals sound dubious as Alex Kapranos sings “Some people wanna see what I see/ Some people put an evil eye on me.” Here you can also hear some of the synth and new wave sounds they have incorporated on this record. The unique music makes this track stand out among the others.
A lot of the songs on the album sound like they come from the 80's thanks to the synth, electronic, and new wave sounds incorporated here. “The Universe Expanded” has a creepy vibe to the music which starts with warped sounds zooming around until the synth and the tingling guitar riff comes in. The entire thing sounds like a dark, alt rock song from the era, but the reason it stands out is due to the lyrics. It's a cool track that describes the growth and deterioration of a relationship in reverse: “We make-up start an argument/Tears crawl back into your…/I turn from a friend/Of your friend/Unintroduced/Forget your name forevermore.” It's a really unique and memorable way to tell a story.
Another seemingly 80's inspired song is “Love Illumination.” It has a cool upbeat guitar riff that strangely sounds like something ripped from The Hives. It's another one of the band's classic catchy songs with a luring hook. Thanks to the wavering synth found after the chorus the music makes you want to dance. But the band takes influences from other musical eras as well. There are quite a few songs that take influence from the 60's psychedelic movement and nowhere is that more obvious than on “Fresh Strawberries.” It's a pretty bleak song comparing the inevitable decay of a bright, fresh strawberry to human demise, but the imagery used here along with the soft music, and the flowing vocals makes it sound like something from the flower era. It's not the best track here, but it's decent enough; it seems like something you have to be in the right mood to listen to.
“Stand on the Horizon” takes inspiration from the strangest place: disco, but it's not as bad as it sounds. It starts off with soft dreamy music, until the music picks up with funky guitars and a grooving bass line that's reminiscent of dance music from the 70's and it makes you want to move. On paper it doesn't sound like the best idea, but when you hear it the guys actually make it work and do a really great job with the song.
Even though their last effort wasn't their best, they make up for it with this release. The album is full of great, catchy, and fun songs. It's one of those records where you sit through the entire thing without hitting the skip button. If there's anything to take away from the album it's that Franz Ferdinand can keep it going strong.
The band is currently touring to support their latest album and will be making a stop in Chicago. They'll be in the city October 10th at the Vic Theatre. Tickets are on sale now. To purchase your copy of "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions" and to see where they're headed on tour, visit their official website.