Thursday, August 14, 2008

Franz Ferdinand return

In the three years since Franz Ferdinand's last album, they've talked about going Afrobeat, got Girls Aloud to record backing vocals for their version of David Bowie's Sound & Vision, produced a superlative cover of LCD Soundsystem's All My Friends, hired pop gurus Xenomania to record their new album and sacked pop gurus Xenomania because they were incompatible.

So, after all this faffing around, what does the band's eagerly anticipated new song sound like? Brilliantly, it's a carbon copy of everything they've ever done before.

Sometimes you have to travel all the way around the world to realise the place you left behind wasn't so bad.

Lucid Dreams (for that is it's name) is a typically idisyncratic hymn to falling asleep with the radio on - "I'm living in lucid dreams / living in shortwave streams tonight". As per usual, Alex Kapranos' lyrics paint him as a modern Cole Porter observing the 21st century through the cosy prism of Radio 4. In fact, he even references the broadcaster's archaic shipping forecast in the second verse.

Musically, the only addition to the band's usual palate of fitful drumming and chicken scratch guitars is what appears to be a sample from Panjabi MC's Mudian Te Bach Ke. To be fair that could be classed as "unexpected".

It's hard to say whether Lucid Dreams is representative of the band's new album (it's only going to appear the soundtrack to an American Football video game, apparently) but it's definitely good to have the Franzies back - even if they're not tickling our ears with an out-and-out pop assault like they promised. The rotters.

You can hear the song in full on the band's official website for a limited time.

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