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Franz Ferdinand : Always Ascending

Always Ascending is definitely a grower. It mightn’t blow you away on the first listen, but the more you persist with it, the more you’re rewarded. 

First single and self-titled track ‘Always Ascending’ kicks things off by sounding distinctively Franz Ferdinand. It’s all here; those twanging guitars, keys and Alex Kapranos trademark vocals.  ‘Lazy Boy’ and ‘Paper Cages’ both offer plenty of singalong punch to keep things rolling before ‘Academy Award’ arrives at the midway point as a definite highlight with the lyrics, “and the Academy Award for good times goes to you”. Surprisingly it’s a rather sombre and downtrodden affair, but undoubtedly one of the best moments on the album.
 
The nostalgically-titled ‘Huck and Jim’ shows that the tail end of the album is certainly worthy of attention. It offers up the best chorus on the record and also manages to make fun of the United States for their poor health care system – a type of political statement not often heard in indie rock.
It’s not the best Franz Ferdinand album, but it is Franz Ferdinand back in fine form. It’s definitely worth a spin, particularly for existing fans.
 
7/10