Every so often, a foreign band that’s already been hyped to such a degree that many music fans are pre-convinced of its greatness comes across the water. I, for one, had heard so much buzz about Scottish imports Franz Ferdinand that before hearing so much as a single note, I just assumed I liked them and their music – that was that. This is an easy method of judgment, sure, but it doesn’t exactly scream “journalistic integrity.”

Upon actually playing their self-titled debut album, I made a few discoveries about Franz Ferdinand. Or was it Franz Ferdinand? As far as I could tell, the music pouring from my stereo speakers was nearly indistinguishable from everything else clogging the “modern rock” radio playlists of 2004.

“Yeah, this ain’t bad,” I thought to myself, “but it ain’t genius, either.” Perhaps it’s just a function of the countless accolades they’ve received in the past year, but I couldn’t warm up to the band, much less freely designate them “The Next Big Thing.”

Franz Ferdinand’s current big singles, “Take Me Out” and “Darts of Pleasure,” are undoubtedly well-crafted pieces of pop-rock, but they’re nothing new. This reviewer predicts that casual listeners and middle schoolers will embrace this album wholeheartedly, but others – especially battle-hardened school newspaper rock critics – will find it a chore to sit through all 11 tracks.
[Colin Marshall was about to make a haggis analogy but thought better of it.]