Franz Ferdinand: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

 

B-

Franz Ferdinand

Album: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Label: Sony

Franz Ferdinand has always been sexy—four handsome Scots handsomely taming post-punk fires, nearly every contour of their platinum-gilded discography throbbing with taut erotic potential. So it seems totally sensible that the band would return after three years of silence with Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, a third full-length dedicated to the various highs, lows, and five o'clock shadows of nocturnal troublemaking. As usual, their guitar interplay is well-lubricated and dirty when appropriate, but in spite of the reheated disco tropes and skronky electronics, much of Tonight feels like it's been forged with the same stale, trademarked chorus in hand. The hook from the lead single, "Ulysses," is virtually interchangeable with those that drown the likes of "No You Girls," "Turn It On," and "What She Came For," all of which play like lazy shout-alongs of the more hair-gelled stripe. And while a weak Franz Ferdinand hook may be decidedly sharper than the average, the new textures only rarely clear a path for more lethal or distinct sounds. In the plus column, the West African rhythms and guitar lines of the bright spot "Send Him Away" recall Yeasayer's indie-rock rituals, spotlighting a moment in which Franz Ferdinand lands between fresher sheets. Let's hope they linger there longer next time.