Scottish indie stalwarts Franz Ferdinand thrust onto the scene back in 2004 seeking to antidote the then bad-boy aesthetic of groups like The Libertines with smart, suave 'music to dance to'. Fourteen years on and following a slight lineup change, their objective doesn't appear to have changed with their fifth album 'Always Ascending'. Produced by Philippe Zdar of famed Parisian duo Cassius - it's a slick, tight record that's doused in their trademark off-kilter panache. Over forty energetic minutes, there's a lot to dig into; the ballad 'The Academy Award' and art-pop oddball 'Huck & Jim' let Alex Kapranos' dry wit come to the fore, the infectious funk-channeling chorus on 'Finally' sounds like a dip into 60's pop, while 'Feel The Love Go' is vintage Franz Ferdinand. 'Always Ascending' sees Franz Ferdinand full of charm, reinvigorated, and perfectly comfortable in no longer needing to prove anything.