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Franz Ferdinand

Boys, 'Better'

FranzAfter a breakout year in 2004, Franz Ferdinand is not resting on its success. Just 18 months after the Glasgow, Scotland, four-piece of frontman/guitarist Alex Kapranos, guitarist Nick McCarthy, bassist Bob Hardy and drummer Paul Thomson helped lead an alt-rock revival at radio with the ubiquitous hit "Take Me Out," the band is looking to strike again with the much-anticipated follow-up, "You Could Have It So Much Better."

This time out the band is pushing its sound at both ends of the spectrum. The new album, which the group co-produced with Rich Costey, fleshes out a stronger, more full-bodied production on the uptempo rockers ("The Fallen" and "Evil and a Heathen") while also revealing a new introspective side steeped in Beatles-esque melodies ("Eleanor Put Your Boots On").

"We definitely tried to capture the excitement of our live show," McCarthy says. "The last album seems like it was a thin, cold line. There's more life to the new album." That is not to say the band is abandoning its rhythmic roots and angular guitar lines. "We're very much a rhythm-driven band," Kapranos says. "We still want to make people dance, but we didn't want to repeat the same beats."

"Walk Away" is notable among the Franz Ferdinand canon, since according to Kapranos, "It probably wouldn't have appeared on the first album. It's more bare emotionally than anything on there. It's not exactly a ballad, but it's more of a ballad than we've ever written before."