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Album Review // FRANZ FERDINAND ‘Always Ascending’

Franz Ferdinand return with fifth studio album, Always Ascending.

Franz Ferdinand have returned and it’s been a while. But don’t worry it was them, not us.  With a few line-up changes the now five piece are bursting at the seams with a pristine perspective and distinctive direction.

The new lineup includes the addition of Julian Corrie on the keys and guitar and Dino Bardot on guitar. They have joined forces with original members Alex Kapranos, Bob Hardy, and Paul Thomson. After co-founder Nick McCarthy departed the band in 2016 there was some concern from fans about the well-being of the Franz Ferdinand. But here they are with their first album since their 2013 release Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, and they are on a mission.

It is quite a journey we go on in this collection of songs. As the title track Always Ascending starts, you fall into rolling drum beats and never-ending synths which become a theme throughout.

They dazzle us with ambitious drumbeats and experimental layering and textures and vocals. You can hear their self-discovery in Feel The Love Go where things get a little sleazy in a good way. Then they can produce something dreamy and saturated with sunshine in Finally.

Franz Ferdinand visit more nostalgic sounds and traditional song construction too, with The Academy Award that sounds like it does just come straight out of a Hollywood black and white film, yet with a bold stance as they break new ground.

But do not fear, the Franz Ferdinand that most of us have grown up with has not left the building entirely. They still give us a taste of the familiar, as they dig up their guitar-driven roots with tracks like Glimpse Of Love. Their new hybrid of an aesthetic is surely a revival for the band. It’s an alluring sound and will have us curiously sitting on the edge of our seats as this road is continued to be paved by the new and improved Franz Ferdinand.