It’s been over three years since the last Franz Ferdinand album, and apart from a sneak preview last year, all we’ve had have been rumours. There was the new musical direction, the reports of an album’s worth of recording sessions being abandoned, and probably some other stuff that I missed. But at last, they’ve got it together, and here’s that difficult third album.
And it’s pretty much the same formula as before, with perhaps a greater emphasis on synths than we’re used to, but overall it sounds like a Franz album, and quite honestly, that’s exactly what I wanted it to sound like. I’m only on my second listen as I write this, so I won’t go into much detail on individual songs, but it’s got the fast stompy ones, the slower ballady ones, and all the other stuff you might expect.
The iTunes version comes with a couple of remixes of recent single Ulysses and an apparently exclusive audio commentary to the album, with the band talking about the songs. I haven’t listened to that so far.
The Amazon link is for a “special edition” which comes with a second disc. I can’t comment on that, as I haven’t heard it yet…
Ahhh, yes. The middle volume of Peter F Hamilton’s latest trilogy.
This develops the story begun in The Dreaming Void and takes things a lot further. We learn more of Edeard’s story, and that life in the Void is not at all what it seemed. And when someone manages to survive entering the Void, we learn even more…
Along the way there’s lots of action, violence, confusion and fun technology. In short, it’s a fairly typical Hamilton book, and none the worse for it. I’ll probably go into more detail when the trilogy is complete, and it all makes more sense…
Yes, he’s back! It’s been a slightly longer interval than normal between books from the Master of Far-Out Fiction, so I’d been eagerly anticapting getting my hands on this. So eager that I couldn’t wait for Amazon to sort out their supply issue with it, and bought it in my local Waterstone’s. Their copies were those large sized “trade” paperbacks, rather like the “exclusive editions” that W H Smith like to sell at airports, but as they were also signed copies (the man himself had been in the week before, but I missed him, mutter), that was quite satisfactory.
So, what do we have here? Imminent End of the World? Yup! Unlikely hero? Yup! Laszlo Woodbine talking toot? You bet! Hey, even Elvis is in this one, though this time he’s not accompanied by Barry the Time Sprout.
Look, if you’re a Rankin fan, you’re most likely going to love this – it’s got all the usual nonsense (including a song dedicated to the author), plus some extra special nonsense involving George Formby, the truth about what went on in World War II, rock and roll, drugs (but a distinct lack of sex), a really nasty villain (complete with lots of henchmen), insane alliteration, and much, much more.
It’s fun. It’s silly. And quite, quite mad. In a good way.
 They seem to have it now, so feel free to buy it through the link
 For a “Rankin” value of “truth”, that is
 For strictly plot-related reasons