Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Music Review: Florence + The Machine – “Lungs”

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t resist Florence + The Machine for a while. It wasn’t like I had a problem with her, but what I had heard was simply okay and I couldn’t quite grasp how simply “Dog Days are Over” and that pretty good song on the Twlight soundtrack had suddenly made her so huge. Didn’t make much sense to me, but, hey, more power to her I said, since it was nice to have someone not named Lady Gaga or Katy Perry finding pop chart success in the solo female pop arena (Adele also gets props).

That said, I was happy to finally get a chance to give “Lungs” the proper amount of listens, and I must say that I’m impressed, especially as far as expectations go. I found Florence’s unreleased songs to be impressively interesting and full of power and detail. Yes, detail, something I absolutely didn’t see coming. For example, is that harp on “Cosmic Love”. Why yes, it is. “Cosmic Love” is probably the best song to sum up Florence’s work, actually. Here is a woman singing passionately and interesting over top of pulsating drums and plucking harp strings before it before it bursts forth with even more energy. It was during this song that I came to realize that I liked Florence for what she was, not just for how she compared to others. Other standouts here are “Drumming Song” and the soaring “Howl”, but my second favorite track has to be the completely different “Hurricane Drunk”, which features an electronic whirl and a hushed vocal from Florence over the verses.

Solid album here (despite “Kiss with a Fist”….skip that one), and I’m glad to see her getting some commercial success. I often balk at critics who criticize something for getting famous. In the perfect world, truly good music is what dominates the charts, and  a chart that features Florence + The Machine is a welcome change.

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