» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Franz Ferdinand
You Could Have It So Much Better
Domino Record Co.

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 12, 2005
Here we go again. The world's most precious Scottish quartet is back making the same danceable and radio-friendly rock they've crafted since their inception. It's hard to believe that it was just a little over a year ago that these boys demanded attention and delivered the goods - so well, in fact, that there have been boatloads of bands imitating their sound, with few successors. With less than five years under their belts, it's amazing to see how influential these boys have become; turn your radio on and you'll hear countless bands trying to imitate their sound and success.

The amazing part is the immediacy of it all. I suppose with the instant gratification this generation demands, it shouldn't be a surprise, but with everything sounding the same I don't understand why we have so many bandwagon jumpers in this world. Perhaps I never really paid that close attention to it.

Not that long ago, the music world was ready for a shot of something new and Franz Ferdinand injected fresh, sexy dance music that made everyone feel good. I remember the confidence and entertainment bleeding out of this band: they were a solid shot of adrenaline in the vein of rock. In the past 15 months, we've gotten The Killers, The Bravery, Hail Social, Bloc Party, The Ponys and countless other bands imitating the sound with less success and it's to the point where it all sounds a little stale.

Coming from such overcrowded, once fertile ground, You Could Have It So Much Better might as well be titled You Could Have It Just As Good A Year Later, since Franz Ferdinand seem to belong to the school of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Everyone knows what to expect from this band - and I'm sure the general population will not be disappointed when they listen to this album for the first time; few will notice that these are the same beats and guitar riffs from the previous release. Case in point: "You're the Reason I'm Leaving" is "Michael" with very few things differentiating the two - it's the same song with different lyrics, but that's okay since few folks will stop enjoying these retro dance songs for that reason alone, especially since they're created to make men and women dance their pants off.

I can't say it's not enjoyable. The songs on this album are fine. It's an adequate collection of danceable radio songs that were created to make you feel good and smile. It's friendly music that I guarantee you will hear the next time you turn on the TV or walk into your local American Eagle Outfitter. Thanks for the good times, Franz Ferdinand. It may not be enough from now on.

Something that does make the album stand out is that midway through the album, a strong Beatles influence takes center stage. I suppose the band may be getting a little introspective in their emotions and growing up a bit. "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" has a strong resemblance to a slower Beatles love ballad like "Strawberry Fields", while "Walk Away" slows things down as well, but with less success. With that I congratulate the band for taking a baby step into a different arena, but taking baby steps will not thrill me enough to pay any more attention to a band who already has the world on a string. It's the same string the music world has been hanging on to for a year, and I think it's time we look for a different spool.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig



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