06 June 2009

Franz Ferdinand: “Blood”

What are these Glasgow boys up to again? Franz Ferdinand released their first ever compellation album “Blood” on 1 June 2009. (Their third studio album, “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” (26 January 2009 in the UK, previously reviewed), was a great CD and a remix could be a little scary, because many would take it as their product instead of that of a remixer. After the first listen of “Blood” though, there were songs that stood out to me and some that didn’t have that extra “oomph” (as others might prefer "pizzazz"). But before we begin, one bit of trivia, originally “Blood” was released in Europe as part of a limited edition deluxe version of “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand.”

Before I get to the songs, I want to talk about the cover artwork. “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” has a great cover, that basically depicts the members in the back, one laying down acting as if he was murdered, and the other two acting as crime scene investigators, as the front man taking the role of a cop trying to stop the photographer. But in the tradition of remixes, they did use the same album cover for “Blood,” but they put an antique look to it, makes it look interesting, and yet provocative at the same time. Essentially, they “remixed” the cover as well.

Though there might just be some differences from the third studio album to “Blood,” it shows what kind of composers they are. Ultimately, the basis for the remix has to be strong for the remix to be as strong. “Blood” shows us how they can play around with a particular song, and still make it sound like it’s a first release. They only used nine songs from “Tonight,” but nonetheless if I had to choose just nine songs out of thirteen, I would have chosen these same tracks. “Feel the Pressure” (dub version of “What She Came For”) starts off on a completely different tone from the studio album version. The first thing you hear when you pop that bad boy in is a combination of different synthesizers. The beat is also slowed down. Either way, you still get the same energy and feeling from the original.

“Feeling Kind of Anxious” (dub version of “Ulysses”) is somewhat of a strange mix to me. It has one of the longest introductions on the compilation. Even though it seems that the entire song isn’t being played, you would have to listen to the song a few times to realize that they are singing or muttering the words which are blending into the beat of the music. A definite departure in style for Franz.

This album shows that Franz Ferdinand has the ability to produce a very interesting album, which will not only boggle your mind, but also force you to take a second look at it. Could they have used any other techniques to better the album? Yes. But that is the tricky part about remixes. One never knows how they are going to stack up against the original until people really start listening. (Of course, the purists are going to hate it.) Though I believe they wanted to play it safe with these remixes (they could have gotten really crazy), they still produce a compilation album that is worthy of their moniker: Franz Ferdinand.

Track listing:
1. Feel the Pressure – What She Came For dub version
2. Die on the Floor – Can’t Stop Feeling dub version
3. The Vaguest of Feeling – Live Alone dub version
4. If I Can’t Have You Then Nobody Can – Turn It On dub version
5. Katerine Hit Me – No You Girls dub version
6. Backwards on My Face – Twilight Omens dub version
7. Feeling Kind of Anxious – Ulysses dub version
8. Feel the Envy – Send Him Away dub version
9. Be Afraid – Dream Again dub version

iTunes Bonus Tracks
10. No You Girls – Vince Clarke Remix
11. No You Girls – Trentemoller Remix
12. No You Girls – the Juan MacLean Remix

Keep up with Franz Ferdinand at their homepage and MySpace.

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