Franz Ferdinand (Domino)
The rumours of a dramatic change in direction were, it turned out, mere rumours.
Franz Ferdinand’s much-touted collaboration with Xenomania, producers of Sugababes and Girls Aloud, never made it past the demo stage.
So the Glasgow quartet went back to the drawing board, rustled around in the box underneath it and dug out their dog-eared, coffee-stained plans for album number one.
OK, so it’s not quite that simple.
There are more keyboards dotted in the background throughout Tonight: Franz Ferdinand; during the incongruous but successful electro coda to Lucid Dreams they’re brought right to the fore.
Send Him Away is an unexpectedly dippy little thing.
And Twilight Omens starts off sounding a bit like Supertramp.
But even so, no one’s going to mistake this for anything other than Franz Ferdinand.
Ulysses, No You Girls and What She Came For all stick to the group’s chart-tested formula: smart lyrics, a thumpingly straightforward rhythm section and a chorus built to fill the dancefloor at an indie disco near you.
Judging by limp closer Katharine Kiss Me, perhaps they shouldn’t attempt to fix what hasn’t broken.
Still, there are no surprises. WILL FULFORD-JONES