Album review: Late Night Tales - Franz Ferdinand
PUBLISHED: 11:45 11 October 2014
Yet another sterling selection in this series, this time from Alex Kapranos and co.
The latest salvo in the deservingly vaunted series of post-night-out LPs is put together by nigh-on national treasures Franz Ferdinand.
They step up to the plate with a tour of some lesser-visited enclaves of soul, funk, reggae, pop, Krautrock and indie.
After kicking things off with their own laid-back cover of Jonathan Halper’s Leaving My Old Life Behind, R. Stevie Moore’s gently rolling, heavy-lidded take on The Beatles’ I’m Only Sleeping sets the tone with its jazz-bar double bass.
The set shimmies between genres with dextrous aplomb – from vocodered lyrics and synth beats (Zapp’s ‘80s hip-hop handful More Bounce To The Ounce) to the throaty shouts of cult femme-fronted, post-punk revivalist outfit Life Without Buildings, it never jars or misses a step.
Lee Scratch Perry’s Disco Devil, which will be familiar to fans of The Prodigy’s Out Of Space, rubs shoulders with James Brown anthropomorphising another kind of brown on the downbeat King Heroin, a cut from 1972’s There It Is (“I can make a world famous beauty forget her looks... make a girl sell her body for a $5 bag”).
Crucially, the segues are the smoothest you’ll find this side of a tub of Nutella, and there’s plenty of decent novelty – Justus Köhncke’s electro-Kraut reimagining of Neil Young’s classic Old Man is another eye-opening, judiciously selected cover.
Alex Kapranos signs off with a reading of self-penned tale Defibrillator, the kind of story that would win you an audience down your local.
This record is, as Kapranos himself says, music and stories worth staying up for.
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