Album Review | ROCK

‘Right’ stuff by Franz Ferdinand

Andy Knowles

Franz Ferdinard’s new and fourth studio album, and its first since 2009’s “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand,” opens riding one of the most infectious grooves the band has ever laid down. “Right Action,” thick with a circular bass line and a wall of guitars, is the kind of smart dance pop that catapulted the Scottish rockers to fame nearly a decade ago.

That’s when Franz Ferdinand, arriving in a fertile indie-rock scene that ushered in the Killers and Arctic Monkeys, hit big with “Take Me Out.” Since then the quartet has worked within a comfortable context of guitar pop, gradually peppering its taut jams with more dance-oriented outings like its last album.


Now we have “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action,” featuring some of Franz Ferdinand’s most memorable songs since its self-titled debut. Each one is seemingly constructed around a hook, from the driving organ on “Treasons! Animal.” to the way frontman Alex Kapranos commands the muscular choruses of “Evil Eye” and “Love Illumination.”

On one hand, this is classic Franz Ferdinand, attuned to the band’s strengths, but it also incorporates subtle shifts in tone. A whiff of breezy ’60s pop underpins “Fresh Strawberries,” with Kapranos countering the buoyant melodies with some heavy sentiments: “We are fresh strawberries/ Fresh burst of red strawberries/ Ripe turning riper in the bowl/ We will soon be rotten/ We will all be forgotten.”

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This is the album for people who used to be Franz Ferdinand fans but strayed. It gives them a reason to come back. (Out Tuesday)

James Reed

ESSENTIAL “Right Action”

Franz Ferdinand performs at the Orpheum Theatre Oct. 20.

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