Tonight, the new album from Franz Ferdinand, is much less of a rock album than anything the Scottish band has produced before. This might not be a bad thing for some fans, but everyone has been warned that it is very, very different. The band experiments with a lot of different influences throughout the album, from electronica to jazz and hip-hop.

“Ulysses,” the opening track and first single, starts out with an unusual funk beat and soft vocals, and then stylishly builds up to the sexy sort of rock ‘n’ roll chorus fans have come to expect from the band.

That is, unfortunately, the best song on the record, because the following songs, “Turn It On” and “No You Girls” both become very repetitive, veering too much into the disco-influenced arena. To be fair, the band plays the songs very well, this is just a genre that should never be repeated by a modern-day band.

“Bite Hard” and “What She Came For” then move the album into more of an electronica phase, with synth beats and fuzzy vocals throughout. “What She Came For” is as catchy as some of the band’s first hits, even if it lacks the driving guitar fans have come to love. “Live Alone” and “Can’t Stop Feeling” continue in the same manner.

It is on the eight-minute “Lucid Dreams” that the album really takes a turn for the worst – the actual song part of this tune is under three minutes and the five minutes that follow it simply sound like record being scratched repeatedly. It’s a disappointing experiment.

“Dream Again” is an eerie combination of far-away vocals and tinkering sounds that actually does very well to evoke a dreamlike feeling. It is not, however, particularly enjoyable to listen to. It’s only on the final track, “Katherine Kiss Me,” that the album gets any better. This track closes the album out with a mellow, acoustic declaration of love.

It’s been a good few years since we hear anything from this Glaswegian band, and evidently the break didn’t do them much good because Tonight leaves you with an overall disappointment and urge to change the CD.

 

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