Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better
It’s a good thing Franz Ferdinand is so cool, or there would be endless
snarky rebuttals to the title of their second album. “You sure could —
buy their first!” I won’t say. Nor will I suggest, “You sure could — buy
some Sex Pistols!”
No. You Could Have It So Much Better doesn’t quite live up to the band’s
killer debut, but it’s still some damn rousing post-punk rockingness. My
biggest complaint is the dearth of clever melodic lines on the stark,
evil, Munsters-theme-song lead guitar that marked “Take Me Out” and
“40’” last time around. The instrument is there, to be sure, but it
claims no song as its own like it did those.
Instead, the defining riff has to be in track 2, “Do You Want To.” It’s
right out of the 80s, with lead singer Alexander Kapranos going
“doot-doo” right along with an overdriven guitar. I swear I’ve heard it
in a commercial. Or maybe it’s just destined for that.
The most uncharacteristic song is, paradoxically, the best. “Eleanor Put
Your Boots On” is a sweetly creepy tune played mostly on piano and
background acoustic guitar. An instrumental chorus adds subtle electric
guitar and synth harpsichord that would make John Lennon squeal like a
the way, I dare you to listen to “Evil and a Heathen” without thinking
of the Kinks’ “A Well Respected Man.” And hey, if you don’t like one of
the disc’s 13 songs, the longest you’ll have to wait for the next one is
four minutes, and it’s all over in 41 minutes.
John “jaQ” Andrews