I tentatively plugged my ear phones into my laptop to check out my friend’s latest recommendation. I usually trust her endorsements and typically sync my iPod after five minutes of listening to her latest discovery. This time, however, it seemed as if she had struck out. Just the name of the group put me off somehow. Yet despite this I was immediately hooked by Florence + The Machine and their debut, “Lungs.”
Initially attracting attention with their feisty and fiery debut single, “Kiss With a Fist,” the group (Florence Welch accompanied by session musicians) rivaled the talents of contemporaries including Lily Allen and the late Amy Winehouse. The punk-pop single ruled the British airwaves the summer of 2008; however, even its success was no sign of what was to come.
Florence + The Machine returned in 2009 with the complete album, “Lungs.” It immediately received critical acclaim for the stand-out songs “Dog Days Are Over,” “Drumming Song,” “Howl,” and “Cosmic Love.
” It is the first of these that most accurately represents the album, not “Kiss With a Fist.” The song’s rhythms and melodies are the perfect complement to Welch’s voice.
Although she seems quiet and pretty shy during interviews, on stage, with a flip of her fiery red hair, Welch dazzles audiences, belting out her heartfelt and intricate lyrics with soul and intensity. Her music, though not following cliched pop structure, is infectious. I personally cannot stand still while listening to “Dog Days Are Over” and “Drumming Song,” while “Cosmic Love” and “I’m Not Calling You a Liar” show her softer side. Her range as both a singer and writer gives Welch’s music major appeal.
If you enjoy the biting sarcastic lyrics of Lily Allen or the soft introspective music of Kate Nash, you will certainly enjoy Florence + The Machine.