RETRO REVIEW - LUNGS: FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
In light of Florence and The Machine likely releasing their next album soon after the release of King last week, is there a more apt time to look at their first, and arguably best, album?
Lungs was released all the way back in 2009 and still stands up as one of the key indie albums from that era of music. The album doesn't feel dated in any way, shape or form which no doubt contributes to its ability to move through the years and continue to pick up new listeners or get revisited by those who had it on repeat in the past. This album was the band's first LP, which is difficult to believe as it has the maturity of a well-established band.
Florence and The Machine's sound is so unbelievably distinctive and despite moving with trends, they've kept their whimsical. Obviously, this is helped by the fact that Welch gives off the energy of a nature witch straight from a fantasy novel (in the absolute best way).
The album kicks off with Dog Days Are Over, which is a perfect opener with its thumping beat and its addictive chorus that feels anthemic and therapeutic. These kinds of choruses and bridges can be found all throughout Lungs, including on the hit song 'You Got The Love', which still remains one of the songs that are synonymous with the band.
The album feels a genre of its own, combining features of folk and alternative music with some aspects that feel almost grunge-y or dancy. Welch's vocals stand out amongst a crowded scene and fit perfectly with the brutalist lyrics that find themselves hidden in fantastical instrumentals. Some of the experimentation on this album doesn't necessarily pay off, but this is completely outweighed by the times it does. Despite this experimentation, the album feels rooted in the core sounds and instruments that make up most of the track. Drumming Song emphasises the heavy-handed heartbeat-style drums that are found across the board on Lungs, and there's a twinkling that is made from a variety of instruments that runs like a thread through the album, which is the key to its eccentricity.
Overall, Lungs is an album that is also a moment in time. It may not be perfect, but its influence on music at the time and what it did to lift its performers into the mainstream is a phenomenon that only few albums achieve.