Review Summary: Intimidating in magnitude, Lungs is the muscle car of indie pop.
One thing is clear: this girl can sing. So Lungs
seems like an appropriate title for Florence Welch’s debut album under the recording name of Florence And The Machine
. Her vocal command is compelling and carries every song on a record that has little, if no, low moments.
As a debut that well lives up to the hype, Lungs
is quite possibly the best pop indie album of 2009. With standout tracks like “Cosmic Love”, “Dog Days Are Over”, and “Drumming”, Welch approaches each tune with conviction and appetite. Emblazoning themes of death, violence, and estrangement, the fervor of her delivery and the enormity of the orchestration can very nearly be overwhelming, and frisky moments like lead single “Kiss With A Fist” are necessary to settle the aggression.
Her penchant for grandiosity is perhaps best on display in the climax of “Girl With One Eye”, a tune that borrows a chord-substituted version of the widely used flamenco “money” chord progression. As a harmonic variation of classics such as Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”, The Turtles’ “Happy Together”, and Ray Charles’ “Hit The Road Jack” (to name a few), Welch blasts through its final chorus like a bat out of hell. Whatever hell it was she came from, the songs of Lungs
, start to finish, are her exorcism as she proclaims: “between two lungs it was released.”
4.5 / 5 stars