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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Florence + the Machine -- Lungs

 photo 220px-Lungs_FatM_zpsc776440c.jpg

I've gone on at length about my dreams of someone one day filling the considerable Björk-sized hole in my heart. From the first moment I heard that weirdo sing, I knew I was in love, and now that she has been running on artistic fumes for close to a decade, I need someone to step-up and be a successor. There have been numerous candidates who have only turned out to be little fireflies in the glow of Ms. Guðmundsdóttir's sun.
Alas, when I saw this video in late 2010, I thought I had found her.

Huge, powerful, unusual voice, singing overdramatically and at the peak of its range? Check. Weird, ethereal arrangement? Check. Video that matched those things? Check. New Björk is that you?
No. Florence does not fill the hole. While Lungs, her debut album, is quite enjoyable, it simply sounds like the work of an array of producers, not the unified vision of a mad, fairy genius.
Lungs does hold together decently, though. Florence"s voice is pretty singular, and a palatial vein running through most of Lungs lends it a pretty nice flow (Florence also has some weird, neo-flapper thing going on, too). But at the end of the day, Lungs is just a pop-record pieced together by half a dozen songwriters, albeit some pretty good ones. The Icelandic monolith stands alone. Of course, even Björk's debut album isn't the greatest thing ever...

2009 Island
1. Dog Days Are Over 4:13
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 3:39
7. Drumming Song 3:44
8. Between Two Lungs 4:09
9. Cosmic Love 4:16
10. My Boy Builds Coffins 2:57
11. Hurricane Drunk 3:13
12. Blinding 4:40
13. You've Got the Love 2:49


Neal said...

So, ummmm, yeah. This feels like my last post. Still going to do it, though.

Have you checked out Ceremonials (follow-up to Lungs). I like it more of the two, but I agree that I can take Florence + the Machine in smaller slices. And she does like her trippy videos, that's for sure.

Nicholas said...

Man, I wrote the review for Ceremonials over a month ago (I'm around 15-20 ahead right now...down from 30 ahead at the start of the year), but my OCD wouldn't let me publish it last week when I was too sick too write another review to take its place in my drafts section...I give it the same score as this, though my reasoning is different and more succinct. I think if I added decimals, though, Ceremonials might get the point over this one.