You Could Have It So Much Better

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Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
You Could Have It So Much Better, indeed. On their sophomore outing, these Scots deliver on the implied promise of the disc's title -- and take some worthwhile artistic chances in the process. The quirky -- not to mention herky-jerky -- rhythms that made "Take Me Out" such a dance-floor favorite are still present here, most notably on the after-hours slink "The Outsiders." But rather than simply mimeographing the blueprint of their platinum-selling debut, the quartet spend much of this disc furiously scribbling out new directions, with mostly high-energy results. That's the case on the old-school punk foray "This Boy" -- a short, spiky ditty that'd do the Buzzcocks ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
You Could Have It So Much Better, indeed. On their sophomore outing, these Scots deliver on the implied promise of the disc's title -- and take some worthwhile artistic chances in the process. The quirky -- not to mention herky-jerky -- rhythms that made "Take Me Out" such a dance-floor favorite are still present here, most notably on the after-hours slink "The Outsiders." But rather than simply mimeographing the blueprint of their platinum-selling debut, the quartet spend much of this disc furiously scribbling out new directions, with mostly high-energy results. That's the case on the old-school punk foray "This Boy" -- a short, spiky ditty that'd do the Buzzcocks proud -- as well as on the sneering title track, which singer Alex Kapranos turns into a sort of post-millennial take on the Stones' "Satisfaction," dishing out a laundry list of media-whore jibes. Adrenaline isn't the only additive on display here: In contrast to the comparatively wide-eyed worldview they exuded last time around, the foursome wax enthusiastic about all manner of substance intake, tipping their hats to ecstasy on the spangled "What You Meant" and sniffing around the world of opiates on the spiky, electronic "The Fallen." Nevertheless, the disc offers no sign of dulled senses, just opened horizons that range from the goth grandeur of "Evil and a Heathen" to the deceptively bouncy smut-fest "Do You Want To?" At once sexy, silly, and scandalous, You Could Have It So Much Better touches all the right parts of the brain's pleasure center, and more than a few regions of the part that controls those spine chills.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Opting not to fix what broke them, You Could Have It So Much Better serves up more of the stylish, angular sound that worked so well on Franz Ferdinand's debut. After years of rehearsing in abandoned Glasgow warehouses and playing in relatively obscure groups like the Yummy Fur, it's perfectly understandable why the band chose not to mess with a good thing -- and why they chose to follow up the breakthrough success of Franz Ferdinand so quickly. But, after a year and a half of near-instant acclaim and constant touring, Franz Ferdinand return with songs that just aren't as consistently good as the album that made them so successful in the first place. A lot of You Could Have It So Much Better feels like a super-stylized caricature of the band's sound, with exaggeratedly spiky guitars, brooding crooning, and punky-yet-danceable beats. This isn't an entirely bad thing: "The Fallen" begins the album with a wicked, gleeful welcome back that embraces the jaunty mischief running through most of Franz Ferdinand's best moments, while "I'm Your Villain" effortlessly nails the darkly sexy vibe they strived for on Franz Ferdinand. Meanwhile, the famous friends, arty parties, and "shocking" homoeroticism of "Do You Want To" -- which feels more like a victory lap than a comeback single -- play like knowing, tongue-in-cheek self-parody. However, too many tracks on You Could Have It So Much Better are witty and energetic in the moment but aren't especially memorable. "You're the Reason I'm Leaving," "What You Meant," "This Boy," and the oddly anti-climactic finale, "Outsiders," are Franz-lite -- not at all bad, but not as good as even their early B-sides and certainly not up to the level of "Take Me Out." What helps save the album from being completely predictable are slower moments like the pretty, jangly "Walk Away" and atmospheric, piano-driven songs such as "Fade Together" which really should've been the final track. Best of all is "Eleanor Put Your Boots On," a gorgeous, Beatlesque ballad that suggests that if Franz Ferdinand have songs this good in them, they're selling themselves, and their fans, short with most of the songs here you could have it so much better, indeed. Not so much a sophomore slump as a rushed follow-up, You Could Have It So Much Better probably would've been better if Franz Ferdinand had waited until they had a batch of songs as consistent as their first album, but as it stands, it's still pretty good.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/4/2005
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969480014
  • Catalog Number: 94800

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Franz Ferdinand Primary Artist
Nicholas McCarthy Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Robert Hardy Bass Guitar
Paul Thomson Drums
Alexander Kapranos Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Howie Weinberg Mastering
Rich Costey Producer, Audio Production
Nicholas McCarthy Composer
Claudius Mittendorfer Engineer
Franz Ferdinand Composer, Audio Production
Alex Kapranos Composer
Cerne Canning Management
Shana Moulton Cover Photo
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a reviewer

    if you would just buy this album! Every song is amazing and that is hard to find in a modern C.D. They are intelligent in their lyrics and style! They can be hard rock, but also do a softer song now and again that will blow your mind! Brilliant album!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best CD EVER!

    I highly reccomend this awesome CD! I can't go a day without it! Franz Ferdinand=BEST BAND EVER!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better

    This was a great CD, filled with a variety of tracks. The lyrics are great, but a couple songs sound a bit repititious. Personally I enjoyed this better than their debut CD (self-titled). Matinee and Do You Want To? are my favorites. Definately worth buying!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Music to tame the wild beast

    this album is an interesting artistic experiment. its as if ff took apart what made their music popular, and focused on refining those components. other songs seemed to be revamped songs from the first album,but that doe not make those songs any less psectacular!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You Could have it so much better= brilliant

    WOW!!! This cd is INSANE!!! I can't stop listening to it and all of their songs have such good, ADDICTIVE beats. I love the sound and words of "Evil and a Heathen" and well as "You Could Have it so Much Better". Every song on this cd rocks and you should definitly buy it because it is totally worth it. Franz Ferdinand's sounds hasn't changed a bit from their previous record and has yet produced another amazing compilation of songs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Franz are back, bigger and better

    A specular cd from start to end, alot more upbeat and energitic than there previously album. Songs like the fallen and outsiders being some of the best songs on the album. A must for fans of alternative music.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This cd Rocks the House!!

    Franz Ferdinand is the greatest band and this cd is just another reason to say that. Eleanor Put Your Boots Back On, Do You Want To, and You Could Have It So Much Better are awesome songs. If you were a fan of their old cd you should get this one too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Heart Franz

    Mmmmk, Franz Ferdinand is essentially my favorite band. I bought this CD the first day out and totally loved the whole thing from beginning to utter end. "Evil and a Heathen" is just good clean fun. "This Boy" is even better. Somehow, these boys have lived up to their debut, which is pretty amazing when you consider that none of their songs are really about anything. Pretty much, if you like offbeat music and despise pop, embrace the Franz for the geniuses that they are!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Can't get better than this

    I can't stop listening to this cd. Usually I get tired of the same thirteen tracks on repeat after a week or so, but I can't go a day without Kapranos's sexy voice belting out some of the best lyrics I've ever come across. McCarthy's melodies are most danceable, Thomson's beat demands that you move, and Hardy's basslines make quite the blissful experience when the volume's on full blast in my car. Ladies and gentlemen, Franz has done it again.

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    Posted May 1, 2010

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