Sunday, 5 July 2009

Lungs - Florence + The Machine

Florence and the Machine. Nu hippie goddess, magical weaver of spellbinding music.
Florence this year has been a 'watch' point for almost everyone this year, and it is not suprising given some of the outputs of this woman.

  1. "Dog Days Are Over" - 4:12
  2. "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)" - 3:52
  3. "I'm Not Calling You a Liar" - 3:05
  4. "Howl" - 3:34
  5. "Kiss with a Fist" - 2:04
  6. "Girl with One Eye" - 3:38
  7. "Drumming Song" - 3:43
  8. "Between Two Lungs" - 4:09
  9. "Cosmic Love" - 4:15
  10. "My Boy Builds Coffins" - 2:56
  11. "Hurricane Drunk" - 3:13
  12. "Blinding" - 4:40
  13. "You've Got the Love" (Bonus Track) - 2:48
  14. "Swimming" (iTunes Bonus Track) - 3:22
The album opens with a lutey dreamy, if not improvised-sounding calmer, that dives into a determined killer chorus, 'Dog Days Are Over' (Subtle name change.) It's a shame this track didn't climb higher on the UK charts, because it is perfectly deserving. It is reinforced by the instant classic, 'Rabbit Heart' , which is wonderfully layered and produced, 3.52 of a solid screamingly catchy song. 'I'm Not Calling You A Liar' and 'Drumming Song' are perhaps the closest we get to a low point in the album, at times you feel like saying, "OK dear, you've told me already, I get the message", but it is at least enjoyable on a background level.
'Howl' is one of my favourites of the new track, and contrasts with the previous by getting straight to the point. It's dramatic enough to be a fantasy film chase scene sountracker and it's chorus will soon be a singalong favourite. I'm thinking fifth single? Kiss With A Fist is to Lungs and White Light was to 'Demon Days', a minimal feel-good clanger to momentarily break the spell. Girl with One Eye feels so Bluesy and I genuinely think it'll become one of those classic songs that get passed down by cover after cover (points to Hallelujah and American Pie.) I get shivers whenever I hear that screaming 'CRY' towards the end.
'Drumming Song' is to be the next single and there is something beautifully catchy and fulfilling about the lyrics 'Louder than silence, Louder than bells, Sweeter than heaven and Harder than Hell.'
'Cosmic Love' has made it to number two in Ireland despite not being a single, and Hurricane Drunk is a Park-bench anthem. I have had the privileged experience of listening to much of florence's accoustic work on a friends (also called Florence weirdly) burned CD. I think the only thing that this album lacks are some more accousticy, less-produced songs (i.e. Girl With One Eye, kiss with a fist) because at a certain point in the album, it all seems too much to deal with!

A huge highlight is 'You've Got The Love', a cover of the Source's dance track. I love this, it dosen't just do justice to the original, it's better! I don't think it deserves to be just a cover!
To top it all off we have 'Swimming', which is an amazing finisher ... Like an epic Jefferson Airplane. There are some earlier more upbeat recordings as well which are worth a listen to.


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