You Could Have It So Much Better
Franz Ferdinand, the Scottish band that did so much to put booty-shaking back into currency for young rock fans, returns with a second album that’s an even stronger work than their excellent debut. You Could Have It So Much Better finds the outfit trying on a wider array of styles even as it reaches a sharper, more consistent level of songwriting. In addition to their enticing blend of edgy guitars and disco-ready rhythms (first single “Do You Want To,” “I’m Your Villain”), they branch out into Village Green-era Kinks pastorals (the mini-masterpiece “Eleanor Put Your Boots On”) and bittersweet mid-tempo rock (“Walk Away”) with great success. Even the relative throwaways here are filled with more ideas than many other current bands’ hits. These guys certainly did themselves a favor by withdrawing from the road for a while and putting their energy toward this set.