Franz Ferdinand – ‘Ulysses’ (Domino, 19 Jan)
Anyone who read the The Badger ‘Review of the Year’ at the end of last term will know that I had tipped Franz Ferdinand – back with a new album after three years – to be the band to inject some life back into a music scene saturated with a host of boring, repetitive and unimaginative bands. Love them or loathe them, Franz Ferdinand have always been an interesting band and their distinctive brand of art-rock has managed to stand out against much of the indie crowd. (They’ve also had some cracking tunes along the way!)
So I can’t help feeling a little let down by the Glasgow boys. From the very first verse – whispered huskily by Alex Kapranos – ‘Ulysses’ sounds just like you would expect a Franz Ferdinand record to sound, seemingly confounding rumours that their new album would herald a radical new direction for the band. Tight rhythms and angular guitar-work dominate the track, with some tasty synths coming in to build up to the chorus.
But, compared with their previous lead singles, ‘Ulysses’ feels a little wanting: it’s not as danceable as ‘Take me Out’; it’s not as catchy as ‘Do You Want To’. It all sounds, dare I say it, rather unimaginative. We’re going to have to look elsewhere for inspiration in 2009 it seems.