Stay Cool Dad


Crossing over between nice and annoying by Simon Sharwood
March 1, 2006, 10:39 am
Filed under: Just listened to ...

I’ve been listening to and singing a lot of Franz Ferdinand lately.

You Could Have It So Much Better is a good album. But also an annoying one. There’s very little variation in the beat of the songs it contains, so the album merges into one big long song for me. The music is also very similar throughout.

The result is I enjoy listening, but also want it to stop and hope some other tunes will emerge into my brain to replace Franz Ferdinand.

This is a strange emotion.

It makes me wonder about crossover bands which, let’s face it, Franz Ferdinand must surely be.

They’re hip enough for the indie crowd but accessible enough for the mainstream mob. It’s the U2 trick, although U2 has surely lost all indie cred by now. Of course they could regain it, but somehow I don’t think it will happen.

Anyway … what is it about bands that straddle both worlds? How do they stay just fey enough to be cool without being threatening, to attract a wide range of listeners of all ages?

Maybe itís that formulaic thing in Franz Ferdinand’s music that does it. Sure they sound a bit jarring to start with. But not so jarring as to isolate them from the mainstream. And once you get used to the sound, it doesn’t change. So while it sounds different to mainstream music, it is not threateningly so. They aren’t asking you to evolve continually, just take one step into the weird with them.

And for the indie mob, so many of the influences come from their camp they are happy to celebrate them as colonists of their proclivities to the great unwashed. This means they aren’t sellouts.

Well … that’s my theory for today anyhow.

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