Published Jan 01, 2006The transition from meek art-school students to million-selling pop stars seemed like such an effortless one for Franz Ferdinand. However, the "difficult second album is where bands have to prove themselves to the world that made them what they are. And to do so Glasgows favourite sons would have to tinker with their suavely spoken, slick art pop that sculpted last years debut album into the dance-floor-dictating soundtrack of 2004. You Could Have It So Much Better finds the boys moving on with their winning formula by churning out more of the same high adrenaline dance rock, as well as both accelerating and impeding their sound. The hyperactive strides of "This Boy and the title track sounds like the band have adopted truckers speed as their new drug of choice, and "Evil and a Heathen goes one step wilder showing just how manic this band can get. Its the beautiful slow-burning numbers though that makes this sophomore effort such a grand achievement. "Eleanor Put Your Boots On finds Alex Kapranos putting a new spin on the love song, while "Fade Together, the album highlight and a most unconventional jingle, uses constant pitch changes and a wonky piano to drive home the brilliance of this band. As the title suggests, we can have it better and Franz Ferdinand have made certain of that.
Did you feel it necessary to broaden the spectrum of the music to keep the band fresh? Kapranos: If there was one thing running through our minds while we were doing this it was that weve got to do more here than we did last time. We cant sit back and repeat ourselves. We need to take our ideas and go further with them. That doesnt mean reinventing ourselves or losing our character or trying to be something were not. Its impossible for us to play in a room and not sound like Franz Ferdinand, but we had to do more with that sound.
Do you agree with Kanye West when he says you sound like "white crunk music? Its funny cause when he said that we were all nodding our heads, like we knew what crunk was. Im glad he said that because I wouldnt have listened to Lil Jon if he hadnt. There is something I like about that music aside from the comic book aggression that real raw directness about it is brilliant; the production really appeals to me, and the simple unpretentiousness about it makes a really great pop record. You can have the highest lyrical ideals and the grandest of themes, but sometimes its brilliant if a song just goes "la, la, la. (Sony BMG)