Often referred to as Scotland's Interpol, Franz Ferdinand made the scene with a sound that, like its NYC contemporary, owed a huge debt to 1980s post-punk and new wave. That fact, along with the members' snappy outfits and art-school sensibilities, allowed the group to easily slide into a fan-space somewhere between The Strokes and The Rapture. While the Wire influence is still in full effect on the Glasgow quartet's second full-length album, YOU COULD HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER, there are also big dollops of Beatles, from the throbbing McCartney-esque bass on "The Fallen" to the "Julia"-style vocals on the acoustic ballad "Fade Together." With its clever lyrics and jaunty feel, "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" mines mid-period Kinks territory, while "Walk Away" recalls the clever wordplay and loopy melodies of XTC. Elsewhere, the group refines its melding of frenetic Duran Duran-approved dance rhythms and Duane Eddy-by-way-of-Adam Ant twang guitar, delivering a bracing and high-energy platter of stylish and danceable rock.
Rolling Stone (No. 985, p.75) - 3.5 out of 5 stars - "...YOU COULD HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER shows deeper roots in the first wave of white electric dance music: specifically the crunchy-guitar R&B and arch-garage songwriting of 1965-67 Kinks...."
Spin (p.65) - Ranked #3 in Spin's "40 Best Albums Of 2005" - "Their second disc builds on the kraut-disco of their debut, but frontman Alex Kapranos' dubious sensitivity makes YOU COULD HAVE IT so much better than its predecessor."
Spin (p.132) - "Kapronos' voice is a marvelous wide-eyed sneer....[The album] sounds exactly like what you'd expect, with pumping disco beats and lookin'-sharp guitars on track after propulsive track." - Grade: B+
Entertainment Weekly (No. 844, p.147) - "...[S]hows Franz Ferdinand working harder and sounding bigger, befitting their stature as rock's saviors of the moment...." - Grade B+
Vibe (p.210) - "[It] overflows with danceable beats and catchy hooks."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.58) - Ranked #11 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "An imperious state-of-the-nation address delivered with ease."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.94) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Musically, the palette has grown without getting out of hand. Lead guitarist Nick McCarthy appears to have an inexhaustible well of singable guitar riffs: pungent, perfunctory, and hardly ever pretty..."