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Florence And The Machine

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    Florence And The Machine

    Lungs 7 ( 2009 )
    Dog Days Are Over / Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) / I'm Not Calling You A Liar / Howl / Kiss With A Fist / Girl With One Eye / Drumming Song / Between Two Lungs / Cosmic Love / My Boy Builds Coffins / Hurricane Drunk / Blinding / You've Got The Love

    The music industry is happy that we have so many new interesting female artists popping up right now, even if it currently seems that none of them have much new to say for themselves. Well, Florence And The Machine are essentially just Florence Welch, someone who apparently writes her best songs when drunk. Nothing wrong with that, i've often come up with many strange ideas after a night on the town. Florence has a voice pitched somewhere between Siouxsie Sioux and Sinead O'Connor. The music is heavily beat driven, but not programmed beats rather a kind of tribal drum sound last heard when Adam and the Ants were still going. 'Lungs' is fifty minutes and fifteen songs, fairly hefty for a debut album, it must be said. So, whilst opener 'Dog Days Are Over' is all strident and post-punk and breathless vocals, 'Rabbit Heart' seems to have been beamed straight from 1988 or so but at this stage, this early stage in the album, the voice of Florence Welch could already be helped if she didn't sing everything at absolutely the highest register her vocal chords will allow her to go. Mostly, the songs are good throughout, certainly consistent for a new artist and certainly just interesting enough to justify at least some of the hype the once great British music industry have thrown at her so far in an effort to get some kind of scene going that can generate much needed physical sales.

    Highlights include 'Kiss With A Fist', a brief blast of rocky guitars and urgent rhythms and confused solos - all very good. 'Dog Days Is Over' is certainly striking enough to also rank as a highlight and then we have 'Drumming Song', perhaps summing up the entire albums sound. A cover of the popular dance hit 'You've Got The Love' is an utterly pointless addition to the album and songs such as 'My Boy Builds Coffins' are just too irritating lyrically and safe compositionally to really suggest that Florence Welch is anything more than a pleasant 2009 diversion. I'd liked to see her have a lengthy career but at the moment, I can't see that happening. 'Lungs' is ultimately not ambitious or daring enough to escape being a dinner party album for the remaining city slickers.

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    Readers Comments

    King Ink Brighton
    When i heard the singles i was kind of hoping that the album was worth the hype, but sadly this is not the case, a shame really i would have liked a new kate bush...

    Tim United Kingdom
    I can't help but feel this review was a tad hard on a new group. Yes there are echoes of things past in the sound, and yes, I'm not a fan of covers - at all. But you do have to get the cash flowing before real creativity stands a chance.Personally, I reckon this is a cracking album.Lets hope something evolves here

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    Ceremonials 6 ( 2011 )
    Only If For A Night / Shake It Out / What The Water Gave Me / Never Let Me Go / Breaking Down / Lover To Lover / No Light, No Light / Seven Devils / Heartlines / Spectrum / All This And Heaven Too / Leave My Body

    Florence releases a well received and best selling 2nd album. Prior to release, producer Paul Hepworth (who also worked extensively on 'Lungs') described the album as 'a lot less indie and lot more soulful'. Firstly, 'Lungs' was released on Island Records and a couple of songs apart could in no way be described as 'indie'. Certainly, 'Ceremonials' moves further in terms of sound, that old cliche sonic cathedrals springs to mind - her vocals are loud, passionate and powerful, the instrumental backing huge and layered, as if attempting to compete. Watching Florence perform these songs live, you can't help but feel she belongs at festivals and belongs in huge theatres. Cracking the top ten of America will certainly help propel into being one of the biggest stars the United Kingdom has produced in recent times. Running to sixty minutes long, I do have to say the album runs to around twenty minutes too far. Everything here being quite so epic in scope it makes for an exhausting listen at times. Seven of the twelve songs are co-written by experienced producer Hepworth, making you wonder how cruicial to the bands sound he actually is? Occasionally the music is too overbearing whereas something like 'Dog Days Are Over' from 'Lungs' comes across as being more natural and organic. It begs a question, where do the songs begin and the production end.

    The opening 'Only If For A Night' is admittedly huge, powerful and arresting. I don't get a feeling another song equals this power we reach 'Heartlines', some nine songs in. 'Spectrum' contains a strong, bellowed chorus which stays with you as she repeats herself over and over again, not necessarily a bad thing in terms of constructing a chorus - big drum sound, belted out chorus. Over twelve tracks, all this booming and bellowing as if auditioning for Tom Jones is sometimes a little much - we long for a moment to breathe! 'No Light, No Light' does intrigue me lyrically, yet musically has no shade or light compared with any other track here. Fine, she's built herself a trademark sound, but coming across like Kate Bush crossed with Simple Minds? You do long for a moment of levity or two.

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    this page last updated 19/5/13

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