In terms of attention given to indie-rock acts, 2004 was very much the year of Franz Ferdinand. Countless awards and plaudits came their way; chiefly on the back of the - still rather exciting - single 'Take Me Out'. Much like the Kaiser Chiefs have found out in 2005, you don't necessarily need to make a great album, just a few singles which dress up early 80s influences in smart and danceable clothing. Possibly conscious of the often short-term nature of popularity, Franz Ferdinand have wasted no time in releasing a follow-up record which sees them pay yet more homage to Josef K-style art-rock riffing but always with a keen eye towards the popular market. 'You Could Have It So Much Better' begins well with a likeable escalating guitar riff on 'The Fallen' but it doesn't take long to realise that much of the record is heavily mannered, calculated rock that is virtually bereft of emotion, soul or the all-important longevity factor. In Josef K-speak there's nothing that comes close to 'It's Kinda Funny'. Strangely enough two of the best songs appear at the end of the record: the almost vaudevillian charm of 'Fade Together' and then the ultra-funky 'Outsiders'. Too little too late. The ultimate feeling when the CD has stopped playing is like having heard a greatest hits album but feeling empty and unmoved by the whole experience.