Review: Franz Ferdinand Return and the Dapper Crew Wants to Dance

Our take on 'Always Ascending,' the fifth album from the "Take Me Out" bards

Franz Ferdinand's fifth album is 'Always Ascending.' Credit: David Edwards

Scotland's belovedly louche dance-rock heroes invoke Bowie's "Fashion" and Talking Heads' "Houses in Motion" on the title-track single here, which scans as both old-school MDMA clubbing ode and a meta-narrative about making music for tweakers. Ah, youth! It's a return to form the band never really lost, and if the quiet bits drag, the wit's sharper than ever. "Lois Lane" waxes tragicomic re: journalistic idealism – "it's bleak!" makes a fabulous party chant, who knew? ­– while "Huck and Jim" takes down Americana and "magazine bohemians" with fetchingly wack rapping (see, we're not all thin-skinned). Of course, the U.K. has its own troubles, and misery loves company – especially when it's this entertaining.