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Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better

Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better

Release Date:2005

By Anthony Miccio | Posted 12/7/2005

Part of what makes Franz Ferdinand easy to root for is its refusal to engage in the mealy-mouthed balladry that its Brit peers have been pushing for more than a decade, as well as a lack of American emo-metal hysterics. FF is the only gang of four on MTV2 that look like they’d be fun to hang out with. Elastica mined a similarly playful mix of sexual critique and anthemic dance-rock, but it took it five years to pull off what FF did in one with You Could Have It so Much Better: a pleasant, if less memorable, follow-up to a classic debut with a great first single.

That single, “Do You Want To,” is the band’s most succinct statement to date: ironic smuggery and suggestions of buggery gliding over a staccato shuffle a hair glossier than the previous hits. Nothing else on YCHISMB grabs the collar like “DYWT,” and only the title track would be welcome with the debut’s zippy floor-fillers. The album is always recognizable as Franz Ferdinand, and the likability rarely wanes, but the new extended arrangements don’t broaden the emotional impact. FF isn’t increasing its arsenal so much as diluting its ingredients. The same gadabout charm that makes the boys’ high kicks such a joy may keep them from moving past Kinda Kinks to Something Else.

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