Saturday, December 13, 2008

Certified Banger #12


Franz Ferdiand is a polarizing force in most music circles. Some see them as masters at synthesizing a bevy of influences into a great sound, others see them as indie ripoffs, while others still, have written them off entirely since "Take Me Out" showed up in those P2P commercials. Despite where you stand in this FF debate, it's undeniable that this Scottish quartet can make some incredibly catchy art-damaged rock. And this new single, "Ulysses", off of the group's soon to be released third LP, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, is no exception.

"Ulysses" doesn't stray far from the usual FF sound with crashing guitars, piercing synths, pounding drumbeat and post-ironic lyricism. In particular, the synths really dominate this track, coming in with crushing force, crunching and encapsulating everything around it and building to a crescendo as lead singer Alex Kapranos breaks into the "la la Ulysses" chorus. The lyrics here are pretty straightforward, with Kapranos touching on a number of usual FF topics such as getting high, boredom, going out, but near the mid point he begins to sing about how his "darling used him." The song than changes tone and Kapranos sings about his ex not being Ulysses, which I can only guess refers to James Joyce's 1920 novel Ulysses where the main character converts religion and makes huge sacrifices to be with his true love. I could be way off here, but that is just what immediately came to mind. Either way, this change in lyrical tone does nothing to the music, the guitars are still crashing and the synths are still dominating, yet they take on a much more sinister feel than the upbeat feel at the beginning of the track. Each symbol crash seems that much more poignant and you can really feel Kapraons' anger and disgust as he repeats "you are never going home." This track does everything that you could want from a Franz Ferdinand song, and that classic FF cockiness is present throughout the entire track which makes for some great music.

Looks like there are two January releases that I am anxiously anticipating. Tonight: Franz Ferdinand drops 27 January.

As always, check the sidebar for the track--------------->

Note: The imeem player seems to be acting up again so I've included a youtube clip until I get that issue figured out.

1 comment:

Black said...

One thing that I've always enjoyed about Franz, is that they are masters of the 'Song Shift,' well actually I would go so far as to say masters of the 'Pop Shift'

This track is no exception and makes me share your anticipation for the release. The real question is whether 'Worms' will feel this track as he did 'Take Me Out' I guess only time will tell.