After picking up the Brits critics award at the start of the year with two well received singles, and appearing on virtually every single Ones To Watch list including our very own, the last six months have been a daunting journey for Florence And The Machine. Recent hit single Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) saw Florence Welch dealing and recognising this journey, grappling with the idea of propulsion into a much bigger world of exposure as she sang “This is a gift it comes with a price, who is the lamb and who is the knife.” Florence may as well get used to the price she has to pay, as the idea is now set to become reality - we are sure that Lungs will do the business.
This is a big, ballsy album full of tribal drums, pagan harps and breathy gutsy immense vocals that grab you in and lift you to new levels. The constructions of the songs on Lungs bear structural similarities to dance anthems, pushing higher and higher, and it is therefore no surprise to see live favourite, her cover version of disco classic You Got The Love (subtly renamed You‘ve Got The Love) included at the end of the record. The other much talked about reference points of Kate Bush and Bat For Lashes with their spiritual and gothic mysticism are also accurate; imagery of coffins, werewolves, saints and darkness giving Lungs the sense of being a record of its own unique time and place rather than a fashionable pop record. This is despite production duties for the majority of the recording being handled by James Ford and Paul Epworth, two of the most hip and in demand producers around.
Lungs is an album that works as a complete whole. Quite simply there are very few weak moments on it. Only I’m Not Calling You A Liar is a little flat, the vocals grating a little, seeming to lack a direction or pure melody. Other than this though every song is brutally good. Songs full of drenches of passion, soaring crescendos and studio polished intensity abound. From the edgy blues of Girl With One Eye, the string laden, clattering church like intensity of Blinding to the sweet hopscotch start stop of Between Two Lungs with a chorus that flows to the heavens, Lungs is consistantly excellent.
Florence Welch has been fearless enough to rub away some of her earlier rough edges, but has not lost the soul and power that made her such an interesting prospect in the first place. Lungs delivers. Big time.