Florence & The Machine – Lungs

Francesca Baker

A twenty first century Midsummer Night’s Dream, all magic and mystery, the debut album from Florence & The Machine’s debut ‘Lungs ‘ is a colossally invigorating phantasmagoria of sparkles and dreams, delivered in a perfectly sinister manner.
The oneiric quality is not at all feminine and fragile, but a strong force that absorbs your whole soul. Opener ‘Dog Days’ confidently sets the pace for the album, stomping through emotional turbulence to a mighty finish, and the twinkling piano throughout creates a fall sense of fairydom which the cutting lyrics serve to sever.
Recent single ‘Rabbit Heart’ starts with the twinkling melodies, evoking eyes peeling from a slumber to reveal a chaos of diamond lights, all reflections and glimmers and a rainbow of colours washing through one another. Rather than simply observing this watercolour landscape, Florence’s customary energy drops you into this whirlwind of a song, powering on with relentless pace.
Much of the album does feel like a race, but not in an exhausting fashion – more that it evokes an urgency to want to soak up life giving oxygen, racing through and discovering the wonder of the world, overturning stones and glimpsing through leaves, synapses connecting together and the electrical impulse brimming with new find awe.
Despite the adrenalin rush inducing effect of the songs and euphoria that seems to accompany them, many are not of positive subject matter, ‘Hurricane Drunk’ evoking the power of heartbreak and the captivating ‘My Boy Builds Coffins’, about, well…Florence’s desire to use the power of the metaphor rather than explicitly relay her life on record means the subject matter is hazy.
Part of the allure of the album is that it seems infused with Florence’s personality, and let’s face it, she’s a very alluring girl. The whole record is an exploration into the hidden corners of the mind and aspects of lives that do not bubble up in everyday work but are actually the most stimulating of all. Orchestral splendour combined with such unbridled effulgence, and a dollop of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘You Got The Love’ makes for a very intriguing debut album indeed.

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