Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending
Review by Dom Vigil
Nothing short of a rebirth, Franz Ferdinand’s new album, Always Ascending is sure to remind longtime listeners why they first fell in love with the band to begin with, while still finding them expanding on their eclectic sound. Catchy, groovy and filled to the brim with smart lyricism, Always Ascending will make you want to get up and dance before hitting you quickly with a few of the band’s most emotional songs yet.
The balance between old and new, high and low and everything else in between makes this album an incredibly fun listen, and it takes no time at all for Franz Ferdinand to get right down to it. The title track opens up the album and doesn’t hold back one bit. Building and building up until the two minute mark, “Always Ascending” marks a triumphant return for Franz Ferdinand, and the nine tracks that follow just prove that they’re here to stay.
It’s nearly impossible to lump Always Ascending into just one category or sub-genre, because each song on the album is strong for a different reason. The surefire anthem, “Lazy Boy” will take listeners back to the beginning with catchy, groovy guitar work and repetitive lyrics that will easily get stuck in your head, but simplistic songs like “Paper Cages” also shine. For example, one of the high points of Always Ascending is the toned down and lyrically driven fourth track, “Finally,” which is about finding people and a place where you belong. Songs like “Finally,” “Paper Cages” and even the eerie “Academy Award” prove that the band doesn’t have to rely on big, showy singles to stand out.
One thing that can be said for every single song on Always Ascending is that they sure are confident. From track to track, Franz Ferdinand don't hold back. “Huck and Jim,” for instance, is so weird and atypical that it works, changing pace and mood so fast that it’s impossible to keep up with, but it absolutely screams Franz Ferdinand. The same can be said about the second to last song, “Feel The Love Go.” A final hurrah before the end, “Feel The Love Go” contrasts wonderfully with the heartbreaking final track, “Slow Don’t Kill Me Slow,” and just like that, Franz Ferdinand have done it once more.
The great thing about Always Ascending is that nothing feels forced. Although it is a certainly a nod to the band’s older material, it never once feels like it’s trying to be something that it’s not, and it still showcases quite a bit of growth from Franz Ferdinand. Only ten songs in length, there’s no room for filler tracks on the album, making each song not only memorable, but a total banger.
LISTEN TO "Finally" or "Feel The Love Go"
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