100 for 2000 – #50. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.

2004 – #10. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
(Domino)

I try to keep up with hype, if only to have an opinion. Seems like the early part of the 00s was full of hype records, and in Sydney at least, the spectre of the NME loomed large. As years passed and history took perspective, that ‘new rock’ revival can be appreciated in different terms. Band such as Cooper Temple Clause and Von Bondies fall into obscurity. And this album, the self titled debut by Franz Ferdinand, still sounds great – truly a classic of the era.

So this record hit the stratosphere, but it’s interesting to note that there is only one hit single. Take Me Out, a song that was tainted by over-exposure, but is now easing back into it’s place as a classic single. People will be dancing to this song for decades to come.

And it’s not the only great song on here. The other singles – Darts Of Pleasure, Michael and especially Dark Of the Matinee – are all great. There is something seedy, something tense going on. The excitement of dancing, of a night that could go anywhere (the darker side of which is explored on their new album). And yes, some songs like This Fire are a bit clumsy (what a terrible lyric, why did they keep ending shows with this?) but they were striving to be different. It was a Bowie/disco kind of sleaze.

Of course, this all came from the head. Franz Ferdinand are at art school band and everything has been thought out. From the cool imagery in their film clips, the minimal album cover… you can see they’ve studied the history. And I like art bands. I love a band that thinks about their album covers. Pity they dropped the awesome idea, bandied around for their second album, of naming it Franz Ferdinand again, and just changing the colours on cover of this album.

So, for an album that very much captured a moment, it’s transcended that moment quite well. Having survived the hype and come out the other side, I assume I will be with this band for at least a few more records to come.

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