Somewhere between the release of 2004's self-titled debut and Tonight..., Glasgow, Scotland's Franz Ferdinand made the decision—whether consciously or not—to steer away from the bisexual dance-rock pop that defined them early on. Thank god for that; as much fun as "Take Me Out" was at the time, the band's Joseph K./Interpol/Strokes-inspired cad pop came with a short shelf life. On Tonight..., a residual boys-will-be-boys rudeness and Studio 54-ish melodic touches remain in play, but the album is grounded by introspective, Beatles-esque passages, a rueful vibe, and an underlying rhythmic weight that invites you to shake your stuff under hot lights without demanding that you do so. It's the sound of assholes trying their hardest to grow up without growing dull, and it may be Franz Ferdinand at their best. With Born Ruffians. 18+.
Tue., April 28, 8 p.m., 2009