Songs such as Take Me Out and The Dark Of The Matinee, clever and catchy, also drew on just the right sort of musical influences - Orange Juice, Gang of Four, Talking Heads - to give the Glasgow band indie credibility and that all-important dancefloor muscle too.
A pair of acclaimed albums came and went, including Mercury Music Prize-winning debut Franz Ferdinand, but a third, 2009's Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, stuttered. Likewise the same year's underwhelming Blood, billed (in my copy, anyway) as "the companion dub album to Tonight". A step too far, perhaps?
Four years on from that relative low, Alex Kapranos and his bandmates are back with a fourth studio album.
Theirs doesn't quite bear comparison with Suede's recent return - Franz Ferdinand were never in hiatus, never split up - but like the Londoners' Bloodsports album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action offers a new sound which is essentially a retooled version of the one that served them so well in the past.
It also reminds us what a great band they were and can be again.
The stomping opener Right Action, as close to a title track as we get here, begins with the line "Come home, practically all is nearly forgiven", which says it all really.
It pumps along on a two note bassline and the sort of scratchy funk guitar Nile Rodgers would have played if he'd been born in Manchester instead of Manhattan and joined Magazine instead of Chic.
Bullet is another high-velocity thriller, while Love Illumination has one of those catchy choruses which has its hooks into you halfway through the very first play of the track.
But as was the case with Pulp, another Britpop yardstick, Franz Ferdinand find themselves reflecting on their own highs from a point of view that isn't quite jaundiced but is certainly careworn and lovelorn.
Introspection is the order of the day on songs like Stand On The Horizon and The Universe Expanded.
Meanwhile, on the closing track of the album, Goodbye Lovers And Friends, Kapranos sings: "I know I could be noxious and occasionally cruel, but only to the ones I loved."
It's a melancholic end to an album which isn't lacking that same humour elsewhere. But if it's intended as a eulogy, it's a little premature: brain, heart and lungs are still working fine.