Franz Ferdinand–Jacqueline

With the first song of their first album, Franz Ferdinand begin things with a juggernaut.  Sure it starts with Alex Kapranos gently crooning about the enigmatic Jacqueline, but then in kicks the foreboding bass, which leads to driving drums and darkly blistering guitar.  The song cements itself with the fatalistic lyrics that would define the album.  Franz Ferdinand are better known as flirts, lovers and keen observers, but their debut saw them toying with death drive and indifference, declaring, “I’m so drunk I don’t mind if you kill me.” The chugging, angular assaultiveness of the track could easily stand on its own, but the immortal, job-hating refrain it produced makes it one for the ages:

It’s always better on holiday/So much better on holiday                                                                         That’s why we only work when/We need the money

It’s a bludgeoningly simple lyric that works in contrast to the sharpness of the track.  The whole thing balances on a razor’s edge between post-punk art rock and laddish oafishness.  That low culture would rarely appear on other Franz Ferdinand tracks but here, on their introduction to much of the world, it made for compelling tension.


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