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Franz Ferdinand: 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action' 

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With nearly a decade of published music criticism to come back and haunt me, I realize the only qualifications I’m accumulating are the “ifs,” “maybes,” and “buts” my reviews are taking on as I revisit brilliant albums I trashed and mediocre albums I recommended wholeheartedly. This concern is especially relevant with Franz Ferdinand, whose first two full-lengths I praised in print, then spent years at a time not even thinking about, and whose third release I’m pretty sure I listened to but wouldn’t swear to it. That said, Ferdinand’s latest, to me right now, seems about as close to Rubber Soul as modern pop-rock is liable to get, as in it sounds like mid-’60s Britpop adjusted for ADHD medication. The album clocks in at around 35 minutes (a “deluxe” version on iTunes adds 13 live tracks), but each of the 10 songs seems to be a stylish studio construction you could live in for years, with bright multi-track harmonies, barbed guitar hooks, and lyrics meriting further replays, possibly at a slower speed so you can stop shaking your ass enough to listen. But who knows what I’ll think when I’m older or, more importantly, what the kids today, who are already living at this speed and think modern rock music is supposed to have banjos and shit in it, will make of this.

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