Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A couple of quick reviews:

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand. For three albums now, these Scottish nancy boys who put the sex in "metrosexual" have let their zippy songcraft run aground after the fifth or sixth song, only to (barely) recover in the final third. A cad who snaps guitar picks convincing women he's a sensitive guy, Alex Kapranos is the frontman, but not the star (despite the authorship of a gastronomic tour that, like Kingsley Amis' tomes on drinking, illuminate the writers' attitude towards pleasure rather than provide an education); on "Bite Hard" and "Twilight Omens," it's Nick McCarthy's buzzing synths and Paul Thomson's backbeat that provide the spritz without which ostensible concept albums about nights on the town would turn flat. They've never made a great album, and at this rate probably won't; but a string of decent to excellent ones in this shrinking global economy testifying to a belief in hedonism -- and that stop for mornings-after with your sweetie under the blanket-- is as compelling a myth as universal health care.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I gagged at the title: figured any band with a name like this has a hear too pure for me to endure. I don't care much for the legacies of Ride and My Bloody Valentine either. Emo verities like claiming your love is fucking right sound better through fuzz and tinky keyboards I haven't heard since The Cure's Wish, and attempts at lapidary songwriting like "The Tenure Itch" augur an abandonment of emography which will probably get them laid more than boo-hoo stuff like "Stay Alive."

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