The Best of Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand's unadulterated joy is what makes them truly stand apart from their '80s-indebted, post-punk indie peers. Alex Kapranos' dour voice on the intro to, say, the excellent "Jacqueline" (and boy do they love their dramatic intros) is used strictly for theater. No other post-punk band conceived itself as such a group of throwback MTV stars, gleefully saluting the cinema in "Dark of the Matinee" or playing on the mechanical piston-pumping rhythms in the CGI-ready smash "Take Me Out." The band got even more fun on their second album, with the single "Do You Want To?", a laughing, knowing career peak with a vacuum-sealed, surefire riff. Turns out Kapranos' lush voice is also made for ballads, like on "Walk Away" and the bluesy Amadou & Mariam (!) homage "Send Him Away." Recently, with "Right Action" and "Love Illumination," Franz Ferdinand have rediscovered funk after a brief detour into darker dance and dub. In short, they are not-quite-punks who wear suits to class and know their history -- and their hooks.