When Franz Ferdinand put together Hits to the Head, they were inspired by Changesbowie and the Rolling Stones' Rolled Gold -- greatest-hits collections that didn't just serve as introductions to a band's music, but worked as albums in their own right. By choosing the songs from each of their albums that reflected both their platinum-selling popularity and their indie roots, the Glasgow art-punks succeeded in that aim. Understandably, Hits to the Head features a significant chunk of Franz Ferdinand, which presented the band at their rawest and arguably most combustive. The drama they bring to "Darts of Pleasure" and "Take Me Out" still grabs listeners by the ears; "Michael" and "Matinee" remain some of their most seductive dance floor movers; and "This Fire" became the template for the rave-ups on their later albums.

Within its chronological format, the collection is carefully sequenced, balancing Franz Ferdinand's hook-heavy songs with ones that gave their music more room to breathe, like You Could Have It So Much Better's "Walk Away," still one of the finest examples of the vulnerable moments they sprinkle into each album. At times, Hits to the Head seems to value consistency over quality. It's somewhat surprising that Better's "Outsiders" made the cut while "Eleanor Put Your Boots On," one of the group's best songs, did not. More often, though, the set highlights how the small changes Franz Ferdinand made to their style over the years made a big difference in their music.

Even in its shorter single edit, "Lucid Dreams" captures how much more polished and slinky Tonight was compared to what came before, as does "No You Girls." The brashly apologetic "Right Action" and swelling romance of "Stand on the Horizon'' reflect how Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action's tight songwriting and expansive sounds still hold their own with Franz's more popular albums, and the Giorgio Moroder homage of "Always Ascending"'s kaleidoscopic disco feels exciting and familiar at the same time.

The same can be said of Hits to the Head's newly recorded songs, which give equal time to the band's dance and rock sides. "Curious" could be mistaken for an Always Ascending outtake, but it's somehow more faithful to '70s disco than that album was; on "Billy Goodbye," the glam rock influence on songs like "Do You Want To?" is more obvious and more entertaining. Despite its generous track list, Hits to the Head never drags -- like Franz Ferdinand's music as a whole, it's very listenable and a lot of fun.

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