Album: Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action (Domino) ****
Just as the summer reaches a familiarly depressing end, out comes an album that really should have been soundtracking the entire season.
Whether through headphones on the train or in the car with the windows down, Franz Ferdinand's fourth album would have made the perfect partner through those welcome sunny days.
As it is, Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action is a little late to be a summer hit but we're still thrilled to welcome it into our needy arms.
You see, it's been four years since their last record - entirely too long for a band who give pop a dirty edge like no others come close to matching.
Album opener Right Action is typical Franz, bouncing along with a hint of disco to liven things up and a catchy chorus that'll have you cheerfully repeating it no end.
But that dirty edge is no more apparent than on the record's second song, Evil Eye.
This is amongst the most instantly lovable tracks the band has ever produced, with a wonderful bassline and an overall sleazy quality that adds to its charm.
Love Illumination is a little bit more straightforward as an indie rock song, but features a gruff guitar line that sets it apart from offerings from Franz's peers.
Fresh Strawberries brings to mind The Beatles, and not just because of the song's title.
There's a hint of psychedelia on show here and despite the fact it's so different from the rest of the record, it works in this context.
Treason! Animals is more in keeping with this album's general direction and sits easily alongside classic Franz track Darts of Pleasure.
Album closer Goodbye Lovers And Friends starts tamely enough, but its verse is another example of the sexy wares in which Alex Kapranos and co peddle so expertly.
Welcome back Franz Ferdinand, and thanks for producing what is our album of the week.
Album: Belle and Sebastian - The Third Eye Centre (Rough Trade) ****
It's a good week for Glasgow music, with Belle and Sebastian also offering up a new release for us to devour.
Stuart Murdoch and pals have put out this on CD and a lovely vinyl package, which comes with a free digital download version too.
The record is a collection of B-sides and rarities and is only really of interest to devoted fans. But then again, aren't all B&S fans utterly devoted?
Standouts include a remix of I'm A Cuckoo by Avalanches, which is a beautiful thing to behold.
And the Miaoux Miaoux remix of Your Cover's Blown is perfect.
You'd barely believe it was B&S at all, except of course you're so devoted you'd recognise that voice a mile away.
Single: Chloe Howl - No Strings (Sony) ***
Singer Chloe Howl will probably never shake off the Lily Allen, La Roux and Kate Nash comparisons - not when she manages to somehow sound or look like all of them at once.
The 18-year-old's material is a little more care-free than that of her peers though, caring less about chart appeal than she does about doing whatever makes her happy.
And while No Strings is probably not going to have the immediate impact of a Smile, a Bulletproof or a Foundations, it will arguably have more longevity.
She's no stranger to a dance beat and the odd naughty word and is not ashamed to admit she looks at the world the way any 18-year-old would.
There's no kid-on maturity about this, and that's not to say it sounds juvenile.
Fresh is a better word to describe this track, even if it does remind us of her predecessors.