The much publicized African influences have also stepped into the background, only surfacing on "Send Him Away", an otherwise understated amalgam of sixties pop and psychedelic organ and in it's lack of pristine gloss, one of the record's most appealing moments. Opener "Ulysses" - complete with clavinet and hip shaking white funk patina - is as close to "Take Me Out's" college disco esprit de corps as the band have ever subsequently got.
There's still room for a journey into the teenage nudge-wink fantasizing they do so well, as Kapranos confesses on "Twilight Omens" to typing the object of desire's phone number into his calculator and it spelling "A dirty word", whilst a keyboard hook worthy of ABBA elevates the music above the smut and gives cause for dispute of McCarthy's prognosis on FF's aptitude for giving the public what they want.
For all the sense of new inclusiveness, plundered more from the likes of the self proclaimed "Dirty pop" of "No You Girls" and the Hot Chip-esque DIY electronica of Dream Again, possibly of the most significance is the sprawling conclusion to the seven minute "Lucid Dreams". Whilst it begins traditionally enough with jagged riffs words about utopia, eventually it's subsumed into white noise and dubby guitar chords, before ultimately being swamped by burbling techno synths. Kapranos hinted recently that this nascent club orientation might be more than a temporary destination, mirroring a rejection of guitars which fellow class of 2004 graduates Bloc Party have also recently chosen.
It's a hint at reinvention, but only a hint. Tonight... is still undeniably a Franz Ferdinand album. It seems that for all the self examination, the conclusion the quartet reached was that if it ain't broke, then no reason to disenfranchise several million impatient fans. The only question that it doesn't conclusively answer is whether it was worth the wait, but here you sense only yet more time will tell.