Franz Ferdinand, "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action," (Domino)
It's been four years since Franz Ferdinand's last album "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand," and in that time the band nearly managed to split up, but thankfully they did not.
Instead they've recharged their batteries and made a fourth album, "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action." It's a 10-track experience of clever songwriting, catchy riffs and pure indie punk passion. "Love Illumination" is a standout track with its 1980s flare and unforgettable synth keyboard. "Bullet" shines with crashing guitars and an immense presence that jumps right out at you.
There's no massive shift in Franz Ferdinand's direction that most bands suffer in their "hiatus" period, however, the influence of guest producers is evident. Todd Terje, Roxanne Clifford (Veronica Falls) and Bjorn Yttling (Peter Bjorn and John) all lend a hand, as well as Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, whose contribution to "Right Action" is remarkable, with its opening beat and mesmerizing flow. The pace slows down on the electronic ballad "The Universe Expanded," where Alex Kapranos' soft vocals shine. "Brief Encounters" is another signature Franz offering with vintage keys and heavy percussion.
The closing track, "Goodbye Lovers and Friends," could be mistaken for a final bow out with lyrics like: "When they lie and say this is not the end, you can laugh and say we're still together, but this really is the end." Thankfully it's not -- we hope.