Rewind: Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

[Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand]

Before 2002, I tried to be a cheerleader for everything I heard and liked. It was a philosophy I carried with me from 1992, when an editor at the Hunter College student newspaper told me it’s not cool to trash unknown artists. Why kick underdogs when they’re down?

That changed a decade later when I worked at Waterloo Records. During my shifts, I was subjected to music I would never willingly listen to and, in many cases, would never wish to hear again.

I come across as incredibly cranky in my 2005 review of Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut album. It’s because I stopped being a cheerleader. I no longer cared if you were an underdog — if you play music that raises my ire, I would not spare it from you.

Franz Ferdinand had initially raised that ire, but the album’s songs were too catchy to stay angry for long. At the same time, the acclaim showered on it rang hollow for me. It was good, certainly, but prize-winning?

My ambivalence shows in the review. I try hard to justify to myself why I ultimately liked the album, but I also resisted following the hive mind of critical thought at the time.

It’s little surprise the album would exit my collection in exchange for cash. I have, however, missed listening to “Michael”, and it was that sense of nostalgia that allowed me to welcome it back into the fold.

Time hasn’t really softened my opinion of it, however. If anything, it makes my ambivalence even clearer. It’s a good album, and a generation of music fans will consider it a cultural flash point. I can’t count myself among that number.

Rewind takes a look at past reviews to see how they hold up today. The albums featured on Rewind were part of my collection, then sold for cash only to be reacquired later.

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