Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Domino)

The Franz of the Ferdinand kind is back with another stylish, swagger-filled release. What do we think about it? Get your click on to find out.

Arty Scots expand palette
Franz Ferdinand hasn''t lost its propulsive pace on Tonight, but like the Greek hero alluded to on lead single “Ulysses,” the group is searching for something. There''s plenty of swagger out of the gate. The dark, slinky “Ulysses” boils over with crunchy synths. “No You Girls Never Know” doesn''t diverge from the formula that served the group well so far, unfurling streamlined riffs and witty lyrics that build into a boisterous chorus. But Tonight experiments with a variety of new guitar sounds and synths, and more often than not tightly folds them into the group''s muscular pulse. “Send Him Away” rolls forward with ribbon-like, African-inspired guitar lines. “Live Alone” kicks off with a wash of noise and bright digital disco pulse; “What She Came For” ends with a bluesy ruckus; and “Bite Hard” morphs from a piano balled into a floor-stomping groove. The album sticks to tight, three-minute songs except “Lucid Dreams,” a comparatively epic eight minutes that attaches a slowly unfolding patchwork of grinding guitars and fat synths to the end of a slightly unhinged Franz song. While some odd turns mean it''s not as consistent and catchy as earlier discs, this album proves the stylish band still deserves the marquee-worthy title. [3.5 out of 5 stars]