Review: Franz Ferdinand’s Always Ascendin

by DJ Jazzy John

In early February of 2018, Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand released their fifth full length studio album, Always Ascending. This record is the group’s first complete project in nearly five years. It is also the first album to feature new member Julian Corrie.

The album opens up with the title track, which also serves as the lead single for the record. Compared to the some of the other songs on the album, this one definitely stands out as one of the more catchy tunes. Most popular singles often end up that way, so that wasn’t too much of a surprise. It was also one of the more enjoyable songs to listen to.

Following the title track comes “Lazy Boy,” “Paper Cages,” and “Finally,” which were a little harder for me to appreciate. I don’t know if it was because I was expecting something different, but the awkward undanceable beat as well as the lyricism in “Lazy Boy” was a huge turnoff for me.

The other two tracks left much to be desired as well.

However, the following song, “The Academy Award,” stood out in a good way. As I played this track while driving down the expressway in the middle of the night, I found myself enjoying it simply because it was the only song on the album that gave me a good reason to think about what I was listening to. The music was ominous, and the vocals were slightly haunting, which coupled nicely with the band’s lyrics in this particular song.

Unfortunately, much of the rest of the album was like pulling teeth to listen to, save a fairly enjoyable funk track titled “Huck and Jim,” and the extended outro found in “Slow Don’t Kill Me Slow.”

Overall, I would recommend this album only to those of you who enjoy the current style of Franz Ferdinand. Personally, I wish the band would go back to their roots. Specifically, I feel like I would be more satisfied with similar to that of “Take Me Out,” as opposed to the techno-oriented tunes they’ve been rolling out more recently.
Highlights: “Always Ascending,” “The Academy Award,” “Huck and Jim”Low Points: “Lazy Boy”, “Lois Lane”Overall

Rating: 2.5 out of 5  

Who knew the Night Sweats could be a good thing?

by Dedria Jelks

Nathaniel David Rateliff, singer and songwriter, is from Denver, Colorado. Genres that he is classified with are Indie Folk, Folk Rock, Soul and Gospel.

With “The Night Sweats” Joseph Pope II on bass, Mark Shusterman on the keyboards, and Patrick Meese on drums, the artists have been in a band since 2015 and not regretted this decision since. As a “last ditch effort”, Ratliff explained to the Los Angeles Times that if this didn’t work, he would leave the music industry.

“When we made our last record, it looked like it wasn’t going to come out – everything took so long…I was like, I don’t know if I want to keep doing this.”

The studio album, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, gained critical recognition from Paste giving the score of 8.1 out of 10, while Rolling Stone gave the album a 3 out of 5 stars. Reaching #1 on the U.S. Folk album and #2 on the U.S. Top Alternative albums from Billboard, Rateliff explained that the song, “S.O.B.” was ironically a joke song.

From an interview with BBC, he says, “Initially, I didn’t want to record the song; we have a good time playing it and the reaction from the crowd is always good”.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.”

Now, the band is releasing a new album called, Tearing at the Seams on March 9. Their current hit, “You Worry Me” is climbing the charts and is currently #1 on the Adult Alternative song chart from Billboard. The band’s tour already has sold out shows.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “You Worry Me” Lyric Video

Thank goodness for the combination of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Who knows where they’d be now if they hadn’t gotten together?