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Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

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Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action-cover.jpg
Studio album by Franz Ferdinand
Released 26 August 2013
Recorded 2013
Studio
Genre
Length
  • 35:04 (standard edition)
  • 82:12 (deluxe edition)
Label Domino
Producer
Franz Ferdinand studio albums chronology
Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
(2009)Tonight: Franz Ferdinand2009
Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
(2013)
FFS
(2015)FFS2015
Singles from Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
  1. "Right Action"
    Released: 27 June 2013
  2. "Love Illumination"
    Released: 27 June 2013
  3. "Evil Eye"
    Released: 28 October 2013
  4. "Bullet"
    Released: 20 January 2014
  5. "Fresh Strawberries"
    Released: 7 April 2014
  6. "Stand on the Horizon"
    Released: 28 July 2014

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is the fourth studio album by Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand. It was released through the Domino Recording Company on 26 August 2013 in the United Kingdom and on 27 August in the United States. It is the band's first studio album since Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, which was released four years earlier.

Recorded during 2013, the album was recorded in multiple studios in different locations. It also features production from multiple different musicians. Similar to Tonight, the album features more of a dance-oriented sound throughout. The band focused on making a generally positive and uplifting album with Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. Band member Alex Kapranos, who provided production on the album, labeled it the band's "most positive record", stating that the album title reflects the mood of the album as well as the mood of the band members during the recording of the album.

The album received generally favourable reviews from music critics upon its release. It also had a significant commercial performance, with the album charting in the top 10 in several countries, including the band's home country of Scotland, where it peaked at number 2, and the UK, where it peaked at number 6. The album spawned six singles: "Right Action", "Love Illumination", "Evil Eye", "Bullet", "Fresh Strawberries", and "Stand on the Horizon".

Background and recording[edit]

The band previewed many of their new tracks at live performances over 2012 and 2013. The album was recorded during 2013 at Alex Kapranos' Black Pudding Studio in Glasgow, Scotland, Nick McCarthy's Sausage Studios and Mark Ralph's Club Ralph in London, England, and Björn Yttling's Ingrid Studio in Stockholm, Sweden.[2][3][4] According to band drummer Paul Thomson, most of the material on the album had been written and demoed at Sausage Studio and Black Pudding. The band recalled having about five or six sessions of recording. Instead of recording all the music at once, they sought out to record different batches of songs over a period of time.[3] Kapranos described the album direction as "forward" and revealed that the band decided to keep a low profile about things as their last album was "tainted" by misinformation prior to its release.[5] Regarding the lyrics, Kapranos said:

the idea of the cynic's search for optimism and the sceptic's search for a manual crop up here and there. I've always liked the lead character in Alasdair Gray's Lanark growing the hard scales to defend the soft inner-self from the world. Socially awkward asthmatic with a self-consuming imagination. My 19-year-old self was electrified. Maybe the album is about how to shed those scales."[5]

Album title[edit]

Kapranos had talked about the background of the album title in a documentary about the album:

I think when you name a record, you have to choose something which you feel reflects the record or that collection of songs. You also want to choose something that reflects not just the mood of the record, but the mood of the people who made it... the mood of those people when they recorded it, and there were quite a few things that sort of came up as ideas, but Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action seemed to sum it up best. It's probably the most positive record we've made, and the band have been, yeah, the most optimistic we've been since before we had any encounter with the music industry... probably because we've been sort of keeping a low profile for a while and not talking about ourselves too much.[3]

Production and composition[edit]

(Clockwise from top-left) Alex Kapranos did the majority of the album's production, with Alexis Taylor, Joe Goddard, Todd Terje, and Björn Yttling (not pictured), providing co-production for multiple tracks on the album.

For Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, Franz Ferdinand collaborated with other artists for parts of the album. Hot Chip band members Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor produced the opening track "Right Action" and co-produced the final track "Goodbye Lovers and Friends", Norwegian DJ Todd Terje co-produced the tracks "Evil Eye" and "Stand on the Horizon", and Peter Bjorn and John band member Björn Yttling produced "Treason! Animals." and co-produced "The Universe Expanded".[2][3] All tracks on the album were written by Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy, with additional writing from Bob Hardy on "Right Action" and "The Universe Expanded" as well as Alexander Ragnew on "Bullet". Kapranos also co-produced the majority of the album under the pseudonym "Prince House Rabbit",[1] with the exception of "Right Action" and "Treason! Animals."[2]

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action features indie rock, dance-punk,[6] and disco-rock[7] throughout. The opening line to "Right Action" was inspired by a postcard Alex Kapranos had found in London, which featured the phrase "Come home, practically all is nearly forgiven". The following line "Right thoughts, right words, right action" was thought of as a "great response" to the former by Kapranos.[8] "Evil Eye" is about the evil eye and all-seeing eye, which are things that Kapranos was very interested about.[3][8] The guitar riff to "Love Illumination" was created by Kapranos and originally thought of as "too rocky" by Nick McCarthy, but he later claimed that he enjoyed playing it. The song was fully written and recorded during a weekend session at McCarthy's Sausage Studio. Kapranos explained the meaning of the song by stating:

We all feel as sensitive to satisfaction at times. We can look outside us and see nothing but destruction, avarice, and boredom. So we look to find that love where we can find it. Some people look to Hollywood, some people look to Blackpool and the bright lights of Blackpool. That's probably where I would look.[3]

"Stand on the Horizon" was labeled by Kapranos as something neither Franz Ferdinand or Todd Terje, the co-producer of the song, have done before. He also called the ending of the song "a beautiful, uplifting piece of music".[3] For "Fresh Strawberries", the band called upon Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls to provide additional vocals for the song. The band originally wanted a falsetto section for the song, but they were not able to reach the necessary high notes themselves, which is why they wanted Clifford to provide vocals.[3] The idea for "The Universe Expanded" comes from the theory of universe expansion. Kapranos calls the song both "heartbreaking" and "funny" at the same time. The song also features a heartbeat for a kick drum and scratches of stubble for hi-hats.[3]

Release[edit]

The album was announced on 14 May 2013 with a teaser trailer video[9] along with updates from the band's social networks, revealing the cover art, the album title and the full track listing. On the same day, the album was also made available to pre-order from Domino in various versions. The album became available for free streaming on the NPR Music website.[10] The album is also available to stream on Spotify.[11] The album was released as a digital download, CD, deluxe double CD, 12" vinyl, and deluxe double 12" vinyl packaged in a hand numbered die-cut gatefold sleeve.[12] The exclusive bonus disc in both the double CD and double vinyl LP, entitled Right Notes, Right Words, Wrong Order, is a live session recording captured at Konk Studios in London.[12] Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions - The Passport Edition is a deluxe package limited to 500 copies worldwide and features a deluxe edition of each physical format of the album, all 7" and 12" singles and access to the highest quality audio files possible as well as exclusive tracks and content.[12]

Promotion[edit]

The band performing live at the 2014 Sun Festival in Málaga, Spain.

Singles[edit]

The first two singles from the album were "Right Action" and "Love Illumination". The official audio tracks for the songs were released on 27 June 2013 onto YouTube.[13] The two songs were also released as a pink double A-side 7" single on 29 June.[14] On 18 August 2013, an EP titled Right Action, featuring "Right Action", "Love Illumination" and two live tracks, was released digitally.[15] To date, "Right Action" has had moderate success, reaching number 39 on the UK Indie Chart, number 28 on the US Alternative music Billboard Chart, and number 22 on the Japanese Singles Chart. The third single from the album, "Evil Eye", was released on 28 October 2013.[16] The song received radio airplay on multiple stations, including BBC Radio 2. The fourth single to promote the album was "Bullet", released on 17 January 2014 in New Zealand,[17] and on 20 January 2014 in the UK.[18] "Fresh Strawberries" was digitally released as the fifth single on 4 April 2014 in Australia and New Zealand,[19][20] and on 7 April 2014 in the UK.[21] A 7" vinyl release was released on 7 May 2014, featuring a song titled "Erdbeer Mund" as the B-side, which is sung entirely in German by Nick McCarthy.[22][23] The sixth single, "Stand on the Horizon", was released on 28 July 2014.[24]

Music videos[edit]

The "Right Action" official video was released on 7 July 2013, directed by Jonas Odell,[25] and the video for "Love Illumination" was released on 24 July 2013, directed by Tim Saccenti.[26] On YouTube, the "Right Action" music video has received over 3 million views and the "Love Illumination" music video has received over 4 million views. The "Evil Eye" official music video was released on 8 September 2013 and was directed by Diane Martel,[27] who is known for directing videos for various Top 3 hits such as "Blurred Lines", "Just Give Me a Reason", "We Can't Stop", and one of the bands' hit singles, "Do You Want To".[28] The band released the official video for "Bullet" on 18 November 2013 and was directed by Andy Knowles.[29] The official music video for "Fresh Strawberries" was released on 12 March 2014 and was directed by Margarita Louca.[30] The official music video for "Stand on the Horizon" was released on 3 August 2014 and was directed by Karan Kandhari.[31]

Concerts[edit]

On 20 August 2013, the band played at Electric Brixton in London, for a crowd of approximately 1,500 fans. The opening song was "Right Action" and the concert featured several songs of the new album.[32] A concert in Glasgow followed on 21 August 2013. The band went on a world tour until the near end of 2014, performing both regular shows as well as concerts at several music festivals.[33]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 71/100[34]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[35]
Alternative Press 3/5 stars[36]
The A.V. Club B+[37]
The Independent 4/5 stars[38]
Mojo 4/5 stars[39]
NME 8/10[40]
Pitchfork 5.4/10[41]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[42]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[7]
Spin 8/10[1]

Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action received positive reviews from music critics. On the critic review aggregator site Metacritic, the album holds a score of 71/100, based on 39 reviews, indicating "generally favourable" reviews.[34] At Digital Spy, Adam Silverstein commends that "more often than not, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is this band sharpening their particular surefire indie to glittering distinction." Commenting on the band's future, he says that the "half-sorry, half-bitter 'Goodbye Lovers & Friends' is probably not Franz Ferdinand's very last act, even if Kapranos proclaiming in the final seconds 'But this really is the end' would make one awesome blowout. Although after delivering a record as good as this, they can take as long as they want". At The A.V. Club, Annie Zaleski wrote positively of the musical differences between many of this album's tracks compared to the band's prior work, adding: "Admittedly, these more nuanced Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action sounds aren't as easily accessible; it's much easier to gravitate toward more familiar raucous post-punk ('Bullet,' 'Right Action') or the Clash-reminiscent punk-funk of 'Evil Eye.' But by expanding its worldview, Franz Ferdinand has very nicely settled onto a path toward career longevity."[37]

Writing for Mojo, Victoria Segal says that "Franz Ferdinand remain in robust good health, athletic aesthetes who have yet to break their stride. There's no great leap forward here but the spring in their step is unmistakable. All present, all correct." At Alternative Press, Reed Fischer called the title "resolute", and said that "fortunately, his cruelty translates into charming melodies here that almost excuse the long wait for them."[36] Conversely, Tim Stegall in The Austin Chronicle wrote: "[T]he satisfaction appears sonic alone: Not a song sticks. It's sheer style that carries this disc."[43] Caleb Caldwell for Slant Magazine wrote:

More or less the Scottish answer to American bands like Interpol and the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, with their du-jour cool and deft combination of insular art flair and dance-floor populism, was hailed by British hype machine New Musical Express as the dawn of a new rock revolution. The band's blue-blazered appeal, however, started to slip after 2009's overly serious concept album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. Four years later, the zeitgeist may prefer its rock stars with suspenders and banjos, but Franz Ferdinand's Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is an unapologetically swaggering disco-rock album that refuses to overstay its welcome.[7]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Right Action" Robert Hardy, Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy Joe Goddard, Alexis Taylor 3:01
2. "Evil Eye" Kapranos, McCarthy Kapranos, Todd Terje 2:47
3. "Love Illumination" Kapranos, McCarthy Kapranos 3:44
4. "Stand on the Horizon" Kapranos, McCarthy Kapranos, Terje 4:23
5. "Fresh Strawberries" Kapranos, McCarthy Kapranos 3:21
6. "Bullet" Kapranos, McCarthy, Alexander Ragnew Kapranos 2:43
7. "Treason! Animals." Kapranos, McCarthy Björn Yttling 4:07
8. "The Universe Expanded" Hardy, Kapranos, McCarthy Kapranos, Yttling 4:34
9. "Brief Encounters" Kapranos, McCarthy Kapranos 3:09
10. "Goodbye Lovers & Friends" Kapranos, McCarthy Goddard, Kapranos, Taylor 3:15
Total length: 35:04

Personnel[edit]

Personnel adapted from album's liner notes.[2]

Charts[edit]

Charts (2013–14) Peak
position
Argentine Albums (CAPIF)[44] 10
Australian Albums (ARIA)[45] 18
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[46] 7
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[47] 5
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[48] 10
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[49] 7
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[50] 29
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[51] 3
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[52] 48
French Albums (SNEP)[53] 6
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[54] 4
Italian Albums (FIMI)[55] 15
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[56] 12
Korean Albums (Gaon)[57]
Standard edition
40
Korean Albums (Gaon)[57]
Deluxe edition
17
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[58] 21
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[59] 11
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[60] 15
Scottish Albums (OCC)[61] 2
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[62] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[63] 42
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[64] 3
UK Albums (OCC)[65] 6
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[66] 1
US Billboard 200[67] 24
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[68] 4
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[69] 4
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[70] 8

Notes and references[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Credited under the pseudonym Prince House Rabbit.[1]
References
  1. ^ a b c Walters, Barry (26 August 2013). "Franz Ferdinand's 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action' Is a Marvel of Relaxing Tension". Spin. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (album liner notes). Franz Ferdinand. Domino Recording Company. 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Franz Ferdinand (featured), Andy Knowles (director) (23 August 2012). Come Home, Practically All, Is Nearly Forgiven (Documentary). Domino Recording Company. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". Domino Records. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Franz Ferdinand are 'fixated' with making new album". NME. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Bennett, Kate (20 August 2013). "Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". musicOMH. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Caldwell, Caleb (23 August 2013). "Franz Ferdinand: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos On The Importance Of Structure". NPR. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
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  10. ^ Schriefer, Amy (19 August 2013). "First Listen: Franz Ferdinand, 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action'". NPR Music. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". Spotify. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Domino - Albums - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". Domino. 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2015. 
  13. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (27 June 2013). "Franz Ferdinand – "Right Action" & "Love Illumination"". Stereogum. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  14. ^ Reilly, Dan (27 June 2013). "Franz Ferdinand Release New Singles 'Right Action' and 'Love Illumination'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
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  54. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  55. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  56. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2013-09-02" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  57. ^ a b http://gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/chart/album.gaon?nationGbn=T&serviceGbn=&targetTime=38&hitYear=2013&termGbn=week
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  59. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
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  62. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action". Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
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External links[edit]