Released on New Year’s Eve back in 2008, I kind of skipped over this album, thinking it was another Imogen Heap sounding hippy trip band. But I was totally wrong. Although I do find lead singer Florence Welch’s voice to sound eerily similar to Heap or Poe, once you get past that, there are some top notch songs on this debut and, after a few listens, I find her voice to have a more husky sound, giving this entire album a dreamy, dark vibe. So many things to like about “Lungs”, and there are some truly great tracks here that I will be listening to for years, but the entire package isn’t as consistent as I would have liked. For every “Howl”, there’s a “Dog Days Are Over”, which is somewhat repetitive in it’s refrain. But every song is written with care and there are a lot of relationship songs on here, which makes me think that maybe Welch has seen her share of bad ones. Anyway, I can’t be overly critical because I love Welch’s voice throughout and I would LOVE to see them live. I have to imagine it’s quite a show and I bet she has even more range live.
If I were to recommend tracks to download, obviously “Howl” is one of my favorite tracks from last year, but there is also “Blinding”, “Swimming”, “Hurricane Drunk” and “You’ve Got The Love”, which is an awesome track and has been remixed by The xx (if you are lucky enough to find the download). “Kiss With A Fist” is about as violent as you can get for a rock track and the vision of “Bird Song” is almost funny in its quirkiness. My least favorite tracks are “Dog Days” and “Falling”, which I think makes for a great poem, but it kind of lulls me to sleep when I listen to it.
If you get a chance, check out Florence + The Machine’s “Lungs”. It’s a great album and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Overall Rating: A-