You say, "You don't know?"
"Take me out!"
Franz Ferdinand is the eponymous debut album of the Scottish Alternative Indie band Franz Ferdinand. Released in 2004, it became extremely popular, especially since its lead single, "Darts of Pleasure", received recognition a year before the album's release. The band's Post-Punk concerns meshed well with its art rock influences on this album, creating a new style of sound that straddled mainstream rock and dance-pop.
Along with debuting at #3 on the UK Album Charts, it garnered further attention even in the US and Australia because its songs were hip enough to be played at clubs. Subsequent singles such as "The Dark of the Matinée", "Michael", and "Take Me Out", which won an MTV award for its avant-garde music video, all placed on the UK singles chart. Even Rolling Stone, normally averse to the Britpop scene, took a shine to the album, and gave positive reviews toward the album's singles in retrospective best-of lists.
The album paved the way for the rest of Franz Ferdinand's career, and is seen by critics and fans alike as a modern classic. NME listed it as the #192 greatest album of all time on their list, and Franz Ferdinand remains one of few Scottish bands to break into the mainstream with such commercial success.
- "Jacqueline" (3:49)
- "Tell Her Tonight" (2:17)
- "Take Me Out" (3:57)
- "The Dark of the Matinée" (4:03)
- "Auf Achse" (4:19)
- "Cheating on You" (2:36)
- "This Fire" (4:14)
- "Darts of Pleasure" (2:59)
- "Michael" (3:21)
- "Come on Home" (3:46)
- "40'" (3:24)
- Alex Kapranos lead guitar, lead vocals
- Nick McCarthy rhythm guitar, vocals, keyboards
- Bob Hardy bass guitar
- Paul Thomson drums, percussion, backing vocals
"Tropes of Pleasure":
- Art Deco: The videos for "This Fire" and "Take Me Out" were heavily inspired by Soviet propaganda and pop art of the earlier 20th century.
- Bowdlerization: An alternate version of "Michael" was recorded a few months prior to the album's release, where it was instead about a boy and a girl fighting over the titular character. The band eventually scrapped it and decided against recording a radio-friendly version of the song.
- Broken Bird: It's implied that the girl in "Auf Achse" was used by the man Alex addresses in the song.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The video for "Matinée", which shows the band members singing in a drab classroom while they're being taught how to perform music. Later, when they're performing as famous artists, the video cuts to a bleak white area, showing that it's really Lonely at the Top.
- Deranged Animation: The video for "Take Me Out" is a surreal melange of clockworks, body parts, old-school sketches and abstract diagrams.
- Dual-Meaning Chorus: "Take Me Out", while ostensibly about a guy trying to pick up a girl in a bar, could subtly be about the real Franz Ferdinand's assassination. There are various pistol-related references in the song, such as "cross hair" and "shots". Some interpretations of the song also include the fact that Ferdinand could be trying to defend his honor or his wife in the context of the song.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: Invoked by "This Fire", which is about the shallowness or the viscosity of lust or passion.Eyes, burning a way through me
Overwhelm, destroying so sweetly
Now, there is a fire within me
A fire that burns
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: Invoked in "40'":As I glance once upon the foam
40' beneath my feet
The coldest calm falls
Through the molten veins
Cooling all the blood to slush
That congeals around the again
Oh... 40 feet remain
- Faux Yay: "Michael" pretty much defines this trope. The band has repeatedly had to affirm their sexuality because of the bluntly male-homoerotic lyrics featured on the song.
- Gratuitous German:
Ich heiße Superphantastisch!
- "Auf Achse", which means "on the road".
- At the end of "Darts of Pleasure", the band sings:
Ich trinke Schampus mit Lachsfisch!
Ich heiße Su-per-phan-tas-tisch!
- Which means:
- In the Style of...: "Michael" is done very much in the style of Morrissey of The Smiths, complete with the overt homoerotic lyrics and dancing.
- Limited Lyrics Song: "Take Me Out" repeats the same two verses (with slight modifications) for over three minutes.
- Literary Allusion Title: "40'" (Forty feet) could be a reference to James Joyce's Ulysses. The opening scene of the book takes place at Forty Foot, a promontory (i.e. a cliff) in Ireland which leads to a forty foot drop over the Dublin bay.
- Long-Distance Relationship/Love Will Lead You Back: "Come On Home":I flirt with any flighty thing that falls my way
But how I needed you
When I needed you
Let's not forget we are so strong, so bloody strong
So come on home
- Lyric Swap: On live performances of "Michael", Alex sometimes swaps the lyric, "Come and dance with me" with "Come all over me" live. Also "Stubble on my sticky lips" with "Stubble on my sticky hips".
- Meet Cute: "Matinée":I time every journey to bump into you, accidentally
I charm you and tell you of the boys I hate
- Minimalistic Cover Art: A completely black cover with the album name on the front. This was intentional; the band wanted to simply differentiate their albums by color scheme, though this idea fell apart pretty quickly.
- Money Song: "Jacqueline", which goes on about working on holiday, when the narrator (and probably his girlfriend) need money. They mostly spend the rest of their time having fun, probably.
- Obsession Song: "Michael". Considering that the song was inspired by two straight friends of the band's dancing together drunkenly for giggles, it takes this trope Up to Eleven.
- One-Man Song: "Michael".
- One-Woman Song: "Jacqueline".
- Rearrange the Song: The single version of "Matinée" is slightly different from the original version. Remastered versions of the album include the single version instead of the original.
- Self-Titled Album: The band actually wanted all of their albums to be this, identified only by their color scheme. They had to scrap the idea after this album, since it was too confusing to music executives.
- Silly Love Songs: "Tell Her Tonight", a silly song about encouraging a guy to confess to his crush.
- Song Style Shift:
- "Jacqueline" begins softly with an acoustic guitar, before moving into a quicker, faster chord progression.
- "Take Me Out" starts out as a pop song before moving into a harder rock beat.
- Stock Sound Effects: "Michael" samples the line "She's worried about you, call your mother" from about 1:35 to 1:39, played backward. Word of God says that it was just thrown in as a "positive message" in an otherwise homoerotic track.
- Surreal Music Video: "Take Me Out" has various kitschy, pop art animations throughout the video. It got nominated for multiple awards because True Art Is Incomprehensible.
- While Rome Burns: "This Fire", about a guy singing as a city figuratively burns.
- Your Cheating Heart: "Cheating On You", which reveals that both the guy and girl are cheating.