After a four-year hiatus, Glasgow-based band Franz Ferdinand is back with their fourth album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. While it may seem to be lacking an obvious hit (at least in comparison to “Take Me Out” from the band’s self-titled debut), Right Thoughts is a solid effort from Alex Kapranos and company, and it deserves to be recognized as such.
Despite the fact that Right Thoughts does not appear to contain any explosive singles like 2005’s “Do You Want To” or 2009’s “No You Girls” upon first listen, it does contain a few standouts that could very well be placed in the same category as these tracks in the future. For example, the album’s opener, “Right Action,” is the upbeat first single that could very well have been on the band’s debut or even an early Talking Heads album. Second single, “Love Illumination,” is an equally energetic track that not only contains the most interesting instrumentation on the album (hello, random saxophone), but it also comes with a music video that looks like it was dreamt up by David Lynch. These two tracks, along with the infectious “Bullet” (try to get that one out of your head), are the closest Franz Ferdinand gets to recreating their most popular singles from the past. However, the true standouts of Right Thoughts are the ones you’d least expect.
“Evil Eye” is the first track that hints towards the album’s darker side. While it is still driven by the pulsing, dance beat that we are used to, its creepy imagery and sound give both the track and the album some much needed depth. “The Universe Expanded” and “Brief Encounters” also give off the same “creepy” vibe that “Evil Eye” does, but in a much more subdued way. However, it is safe to say that “subdued” does not mean boring when it comes to these tracks. Both are a nice break from the dance vibes of the album’s earlier offerings, and their spacey sounds make for some of the most interesting musical moments on Right Thoughts.
On the album’s final track, “Goodbye Lovers and Friends,” Kapranos sings, “you can laugh as if we’re still together, but this really is the end.” We may not know what this line is implying, but one can only hope that it does mean the end of Franz Ferdinand. It’s not everyday that a band puts out a record as solid as Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. It may not be filled with radio friendly hits, but it also does not contain a single song that should be considered filler. Franz Ferdinand’s most popular work may be behind them, but some of their best work is right here.
Lauren Mahaffy is a Syracuse, NY native and a recent graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in music business. As much as she would love to be in LA eating burgers at In-N-Out and working at a record label, she is currently spending some time at home with her dog, Princess Sparkle. When she is not job hunting, she can be found binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, posting funny gifs on Tumblr, and singing Miley Cyrus songs in the car. Read her embarrassing tweets @laurenmahaffy