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2009 release, the third album from Glasgow-based modern rockers. Tonight: Franz Ferdinand sees them taking a step back from the Post-Punk revival sounds that gave them their breakthrough. With Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the band are seen to incorporate more disparate influences such as Jamaican Dub and elements of Electronica. What remains of the old Franz Ferdinand is their knack for locating a danceable rhythm and their gentle, deadpan humour. The choice of Dan Carey as producer is in keeping with this new direction, the past credits of whose include CSS and Hot Chip.
Alexis Smith; Dan Carey; Paul Savage; Alexis Smith; Allen Johnston; Dan Carey; Dan Parry; Paul Savage
Number of Discs
42m : 38s
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson (vocals).
Audio Mixers: Dan Carey; Neil Pogue; Tom Elmhirst; Mike Fraser.
Audio Remasterer: John Dent.
Recording information: Govan & Mr Dan's Studio.
Photographer: Rachel Graham.
It's easy to tag TONIGHT: FRANZ FERDINAND, the Scottish alt-rock act's third full-length outing, as its dance-punk departure. Adorned with careening keyboards, punchy beats, and tight rhythms clearly geared towards the club (see the slinky opener, "Ulysses"), the album allows frontman Alex Kapranos to play up his winking-cad persona amidst the slick electro-pop environs of producer Dan Carey (CSS, Hot Chip). While such techno tweaking didn't necessarily suit FF's contemporaries Bloc Party, it fits the Glasgow crew quite nicely. After all, the ensemble's breakthrough hit, "Take Me Out," verged on disco, and subsequent singles didn't fall far from the dance tree either. Those worried that Franz Ferdinand have forgotten about the "rock" in their stylistic equation can rest assured that angular guitar lines still abound, particularly on the funky "No You Girls"--they've just ceded some space in the busier, often more engaging, arrangements of TONIGHT.
Rolling Stone (p.66) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Franz Ferdinand mainly stick to their small, intensely flavorful basics, packing songs with tempo changes and propulsive guitar riffs."
Spin (p.85) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "TONIGHT is Franz's boldest attempt at a full-on disco record....TONIGHT is all about the art of the extended flirt."
Entertainment Weekly (p.96) - "The mix of Alex Kapranos' louche croon with the band's disciplined racket is still a knockout..." -- Grade: B
Alternative Press (p.99) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The closing 'Katherine Kiss Me' is a plaintive acoustic companion to 'No You Girls,' that's cut from the same heart-on sleeve cloth as SO MUCH BETTER's 'Fade Together.'"
Billboard (p.33) - "[T]he album offers plenty of adrenaline, pheromones and stealthy sophistication, thanks to Bob Hardy's driving bass, Alex Kapranos' expressive crooning and the band's unusual ability to make every song sound like a single."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Opening track 'Ulysses' makes it intentions clear from the start....[It's] a song about the universal quest for pleasure and escape, a raucous incitement to join them that's hard to resist."
Blender (Magazine) (p.61) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The whole album is paced as a soundtrack to a night on the town, starting with the anticipatory come-on of 'Ulysses'...and peaking with 'Lucid Dreams,' eight dazed minutes of electro pop that lurches off the dance floor and bangs into the nearest wall."
Clash (magazine) (p.92) - "The album's centerpiece is 'Lucid Dreams' -- possibly the most stunning and ambitious recording Franz have put their name to....Refining and transcending their familiar pop formula, TONIGHT: FRANZ FERDINAND is their most complete work to date."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.93) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[W]hat you get remains intrinsically FF: taut and dance-infused, yet still rock....Alex Kapranos' voice is vital."
Uncut (magazine) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[L]ead-off single 'Ulysses,' is actually rather terrific, its louche shuffling beat complemented by vampiric snarls and a particularly devilish Kapranos vocal..."
Franz FerdinandSome time around the end of 2001, Bob was sitting in Alex's kitchen. Alex had just been given a bass by his friend Mick, on the condition that he did 'something useful' with it. "Do you want to learn to play the bass then, Bob?" "No, I'm an artist, not a musician." "It's the same thing." "OK then." So Bob learned the bass and they planned a band. It had to be something big. Bob wanted it to be on the level of Field Marshall Haig's tears that fell as he counted the statistics of the men he had sent over the top. Alex wanted to make music that girls could dance to. Alex met Nick in Jo and Celia's kitchen. Nick was dressed like a young Adam Ant and was stealing Alex's vodka. They were about to batter each other's brains in when Alex asked if he could play drums. Nick lied and said that he could. They agreed to meet up in Nick's South Side mansion. Nick could hit the drums, but not in any particularly coherent order. He was a classical pianist and double bassist and had come to Glasgow because a friend in Munich had said it was a laugh. Although he couldn't drum, he liked the idea of music for girls to dance to, and they found that they could write songs together. Paul was the best drummer in Glasgow, but nobody wanted to hear drums, now that 808s had been discovered. Paul had pawned his kit, but liked the idea of playing the guitar, so started coming down to Nick's South Side mansion. One day he and Nick swapped over, on the condition that Paul still got to sing and didn't have to use rack toms, as they stopped the audience getting a decent view of him. Girl Art was an exhibition organized by a group of students at GSA. They heard the plan for music that girls could dance to, so asked the boys to play their first gig. It was in Celia's bedroom which was lit by neon. At least 80 people watched and most of them danced. Nick and Alex decided that they needed somewhere bigger than Nick's South Side mansion to play music in. Hunting for real estate, they went for a walk along the disused railway line that crosses over Paddy's market and the Clyde. They discovered two things: that the line wasn't disused after all and a huge abandoned art-deco warehouse overlooking the Clyde. They tracked down the landlord, persuaded him to give them the keys to the 6th floor, christened it The Chateau and made it their home. TBC...Lucy McKenzie asks if they'll play at her studio, they are charged with running an illegal bar and arrested at The Chateau, they take over Bridgeton CID Court and jail, then nip down to London for a few days to play and talk to some of the labels that want to put out their records...
Turn It On
No You Girls
Send Him Away
What She Came For
Can't Stop Feeling
Katherine Kiss Me
Since Franz Ferdinand's emergence in 2004, it has owned the field of smart, energetic dance-rock epitomized by singles like "Take Me Out." Rumblings that its third studio album would be heavily influenced by reggae and dub music presented the prospect of an intriguing fusion. But these influences play only supporting roles here, on such songs as the engaging, strutty "Ulysses," the urgent yet melodic "Send Him Away" and the resonant "Can't Stop Feeling." While it would have been interesting to hear a further evolution of the band's sound, the album offers plenty of adrenaline, pheromones and stealthy sophistication, thanks to Bob Hardy's driving bass, Alex Kapranos' expressive crooning and the band's unusual ability to make every song sound like a single. Of special note is closer "Katherine Kiss Me," an acoustic ballad about an alleyway hookup and a perfectly timed comedown from the rest of the album's sustained high
The mix of Alex Kapranos' louche croon with the band's disciplined racket is still a knockout
Eric R. Danton, Hartford Courant
A subtler, smarter album with a considerable capacity to get you moving.