Thursday, September 13, 2012

#54: Florence and the Machine - Lungs (2009)

Florence was discovered in a way that has become abnormal but once was the norm (semi-kidding). An inebriated record producer had heard her singing in the bathroom after Florence followed her in and sang an Etta James tune. I still remember being shocked to discover that she’s 5’4” and not 7 foot tall.

Dog Days Are Over
The coolest use of clapping in any modern song. It’s tribal, it’s funky, and it’s fun to clap along with. What Florence Welsh does best (along with her producer) is transform your scenery. It’s impossible to not get caught up in the moment and it forces you to listen in a different frame of mind.

As much as I love the deep, round thumping of the drums. I think the incredibly simple piano part is my favorite. Because of how sparse it is it carries so much more weight. Plus the chorus provides what are the greatest moments on the album (other than ‘Heavy in Your Arms’s chorus). I love the blend of tribal and pop. It’s unmistakably catchy. The strings really add so much atmosphere throughout but never more so than the chorus.

Kiss With A Fist
It’s like nothing else on the album. It’s got that classic, dirty guitar sound. As you listen to the album (leading up to this point) you realize that Florence was made to sing this type of music. How could she do something else? Or could she? After this track I can say that I’d buy a punk, a rock album, or really anything she’ll make from here on out. Lady got pipes.

All in all, I forgot how many incredible recordings were on this album. What Florence has done with her impeccable machine is nothing short of amazing. If you’ve never listened to the entire record, you are absolutely missing out. Most of the tracks are very well written and could be put into an entirely different arrangement and still find success. However, it’s the atmosphere Florence brings to the album that makes it so memorable.

Tomorrow's album: Jimmy Smith's Live at the Chicken Shack.

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