Florence + The Machine / Lungs


Florence and the Machine (stylised as Florence + the Machine)[1] is the recording name of English indie rock[2] artist Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide backing music for her voice. Florence and the Machine’s sound has been described as a combination of various genres, including rock and soul.[3] The band’s music has received praise across the music media before they gained mainstream success, especially from the BBC who played a large part in Florence and the Machine’s rise to prominence by promoting her as part of BBC Introducing.[4]

The band’s debut album, Lungs, was released on 6 July 2009, and held the number-two position for its first five weeks in the UK Albums Chart.[5] On 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position, having remained on the chart for twenty-eight consecutive weeks up until that point.[6] The album has been within the top forty in the United Kingdom for sixty-five consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010 so far. At the 2010 BRIT Awards, Lungs won the MasterCard British Album award. Florence and the Machine performed at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert. It has recently been announced that the band have been nominated for Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards.

The Analysis:

Dog Days Are Over—-By now, most Americans have finally caught on to this song and the phenomena that Florence is. The most remarkable thing for me about this song is the power of the voice and the damn near irresistible quality of the music. This song is a literal journey…leaving you sad and desolate at one moment and damn pissed off the next….such is the power of music. This is incredible!

Rabbit Heart [Raise It Up]—-Sounding more like a 1980’s Siouxsie, even the music seems to match that general era. The track has a nice anthemic quality sound to it and there are lots of vocal overlays involved on the track. There is a huge atmosphere that is only fed and fattened by the remarkable voice that is delivered by Florence. This is superb!

I’m Not Calling You A Liar—-From the onset, this is a bit of a different sounding song….laid back and delivered with a slight smooth lounge feel that is almost bluesy. There are remarkable piano lines that run through the track…bringing a slight curl to the edges of my mouth. As always, the vocal is full of eclectic lifts and falls…only adding to the emotional quality of the song. Wonderful!

Howl—-Beginning with a nice lush atmosphere, the song grows as it develops…again making me think of the best era of Siouxsie and Karen O. This erupts into a huge chorus that is resplendent with slight Asian sounds to the music…I’m just floored…I should have bought this a long time ago!!!

Kiss With A Fist—-I was familiar with this track because it was included on the EP that first hit the American shores, this version is even more power packed and emotional than that version. I am amazed by the power of the voice and what seems like little effort to produce the huge sound. This is a nice tale of domestic violence that is shared by both members of the relationship. The beat and pace of the song is almost contradictory to the message that is parlayed..leaving you wondering what the hell this is all about. Magnificent…..music that evokes an emotional response!!!

Girl With One Eye—-Returning to a more somber feel, this track still has a nice eclectic feel that stays true to the nature of this band. Florence almost seems to whisper at times, croons at other and almost yells during others. This is a landslide of emotions and feelings…I’m amazed that this band has not made huge chips in the ears of American listeners….but then again, I’m not that surprised!

Drumming Song—-Aptly named, this track has a great bass drum delivery. The deep sounds of the song are a perfect complement to the layered vocals that are delivered by Florence and her cohorts. This is classic Siouxsie…filling a void that has long needed filled. This is brilliant…delivered with urgency and a maddening pace that leads you to believe you are losing your mind. Just stellar!!!

Between Two Lungs—-Beginning and continuing at an almost maddening pace, the song is beautiful and somewhat baffling to me…as the Brits always are. This is layered and delivered with a slight beauty that is almost shocking….the tempo increases as the track continues and the voice only grows stronger and stronger. I love this woman…she rarely misses a step and this release is a pure masterpiece of eclectic British Pop. Just Wonderful!!!

Cosmic Love—-From the very first note, this is lush and layered. The remarkable harp that plays in the backdrop of the song almost sends chills through my entire body. Florence fucks up everything by delivering one of her strongest and most forceful vocals on the entire release…the entire thing is a huge feeling of contradiction. This is remarkably beautiful and cohesive while still being abrasive and grating…just incredible!

My Boy Builds Coffins—-Wow…this is pretty incredible. The musical intro to the song is incredible and the vocal is delivered with a slight rush that allows you to feel the urgency of the song. This is exquisite…less than Dog Days, but damn near as powerful and important as that single. This is dark and incredibly morose but still manages to maintain an edge of beauty. Wow!!!

Hurricane Drunk—-Again, this is a slowly emerging song that takes a few moments to really plant in your brain…but when the magnificent and powerful chorus hits you, you are hooked forever. This has a wonderfully breezy instrumental track that is in contrast to the vocal…but that seems to be the magic of this band. I am still blown away by this release…just brilliant!

Blinding—-With a nice quiet vocal delivery at the onset of the song, it is easy to find yourself lost in the feeling of the mellow arrangement. Once the drums begin to kick in and the song becomes more aggressive, you are already into the chorus and again sucked into the spectacle of Florence + The Machine. This is pretty much a brilliant release!

You’ve Got The Love—-Leaving no time for gentle interludes, the song and the vocal begins at the exact moment the silence hits from the previous track. This is damn catchy and should probably be the next thing that is introduced to American audiences as it is incredibly accessible in sound, tempo and delivery. This is a fantastic end to this release…serving as the perfect bookend to dog days which began the journey. Incredible!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

One Response to “Florence + The Machine / Lungs”

  1. Good piece. I like your style.

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