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  • Lungs
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on May 28, 2011
Overseas act Florence + The Machine truly hit it big following an outstanding performance of 'The Dog Days Are Over' on the VMA's. It was the best of the night, and iTunes downloads of the single surged accordingly. 'Dog Days' has a plinking introduction that bursts into a rooftop shouting chorus, stomping beats making up the backbone of the lyrics.

Surprisingly, 'The Dog Days Are Over' is one of the weaker tracks on 'Lungs'. It's difficult to comment on specific songs, due to the overarching togetherness that the album has, but there are definite standouts with not a weak track to be heard. The whole album has a very grand persona that permeates everything about it, with Florence singing her heart out on the majority of these tracks. When she isn't doing that, she is injecting the songs with a mischievous tone or singing over a beat as though she has all day to get the track recorded. All of these things add up to a fully formed persona for Florence as an artist, something that rarely happens on a debut album.

Highlights of the album include 'Howl', a roaring anthem of a song, 'Girl With One Eye', a tension-laden girl fight, and 'Blinding', an explosive track that has a killer chorus. The very centerpiece of the album, however, is 'Cosmic Love', the musical equivalent of the the first Fourth of July. The beats pound with an urgency that is only exemplified by Florence's impassioned delivery, which all adds up to an epic single that could hold weight a decade from now.

Most artists set out to create a foundation for their style with their first album. Florence has managed to burst onto the scene as a full-fledged artist with only one album. Combining alternative, indie, opera, rock, and pop into one distinct sound, Florence + The Machine has harnessed a sound all her own.
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on June 27, 2012
Florence + The Machine are one of the few groups that are able to perfectly straddle the line between art and pop. The group's debut, LUNGS, is a demonstration of great songwriting that is immediate, accessible, earnest, and streamlined. Starting with the beginning ukelele strums in "Dog Days Are Over," to the closing howls of vocalist Florence Welch in "You've Got the Love," this album is consistently good.

Not only does F+tW straddle the art/pop line, but the music also strikes a great balance of natural rhythm and electronic instrumentation. At times, the music is tribal and energetic (like the opening track for example), and at others, the rhythm section is completely electronic (like in "Howl"). The best songs on the album come from when the group tries to incorporate multiple musical facets into one track. When the group shoehorns their song into a defined genre, the results are middling; "Kiss With A Fist," for example, is interesting for its punk-rock departure, but it isn't the brightest spot on the album. Florence Welch's vocal delivery is mostly pretty good, however, there are a few times when her voice wavers or falters (particularly in "I'm Not Calling You A Liar.") Her voice would become stronger with the follow-up CEREMONIALS.

LUNGS is a great album, and a fantastic debut from a group that is worth watching. Rarely does a band deserve the mainstream attention it receives, but Florence + the Machine have been able to reach massive audiences with their brand of music. Standout tracks to sample/download: "Dog Days Are Over," "Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)," and "Hurricane Drunk." Highly recommended.
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on November 3, 2010
It is rare to find an album in which every song speaks to you. Rarer still, that each song speaks to a different part of you. Florence + the Machine's eclectic style is seen in each song. "The Drumming Song" is a progressively exciting song, while "My Boy Builds Coffins" is a new take on a seemingly mundane subject (and quite deep, I might add). Her voice lends well to the melodic music, but the use of instruments and background vocals adds to the depth of sound. For artists of all types looking for an inspirational atmosphere, playing Florence would do the trick. Her songs have a way of dragging you into them and letting you frolic through the notes without knowing you are there. I often find myself disappointed as the last note of a song plays only to be rejuvenated when the next one begins. They are by far one of the most overlooked talents in recent times. While finding comfort in a small following, the band re-released the album into a more accepting public and now find themselves growing in popularity. Another release of the album comes in December 2010 with a special edition containing songs from this version as well as ones never before heard. They also are planning on making an appearance on SNL in November 2010. It is my hope that they will maintain their eclectic feel while finding great success in their new found popularity. For anyone wanting a different sound in their ears, this is the album/band to do it. My hats off to Florence.
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on January 4, 2012
"Lungs" by Florence + the Machine is a diverse and very magical debut album. There is a little bit of everything on this disc, baroque pop, punk, alternative, rock, and even shades of bluegrass. Florence Welch proves she's a talented vocalist and songwriter. Her lyrics are cryptic and quite powerful especially on the track "Cosmic Love" in which she proclaims to her emotionally disconnected lover, "And in the dark I can hear your heartbeat, I tried to find the sound but then it stopped, and I was in the darkness - so darkness I became..." I can honestly say that "Lungs" and her follow-up album "Ceremonials" are worth every penny! Her music is so poetic and sometimes tongue-in-cheek such as "Kiss with a Fist". "You hit me once, I hit you back, you gave a kick, I gave a slap. You smashed a plate over my head, and then I set fire to our bed..." I love all 13 tracks, especially "Rabbit Heart" (Raise it Up), "Howl", "You've Got the Love", "Between Two Lungs", and the smash hit "Dog Days Are Over". The best track on "Lungs" is "Blinding" which is produced by Paul Epworth who would go on to produce "Ceremonials". Florence Welch is definitely a force to be reckon with! I highly recommend this beautiful, timeless album!
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on October 28, 2016
Flo is all new to me, even with this Lungs being 2009. Just got this Lungs in Oct 2016 here on Amazon. Impressive by any standard. Florence really is amazing. A very different type of music, and vocal ability too. My brother just cannot appreciate this cd at all, but you really gotta listen to it carefully, over the course of a week, Cosmic Love is outstanding, but this cd does not have some great songs of hers (breaking down, breath of life, and "heavy... " . Outstanding quality of her musicians, and mixers behind the music on the boards. Backup vocals are good, but are pale only because of her vocal power. Highly recommend this anyone even thinking of Flo. I put this cd off for about 3 years, and wish I had not waited. I am getting her 2 cd pack, the digipak at about $19 here, which has many more of her newer, really good songs. Enjoy!!! She is all Brit, and really amazing. Queen of England: Florence Welch.
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on April 7, 2016
Love Florence! I collect and play Vinyl, I've wanted this album for a while, but when my fiance's birthday was approaching (she is a bigger florence fan than I) I decided to give this album to her as a birthday gift (win win for me), well she was super happy, we threw it on the turntable immediately, as good as Florence sounds on the radio, her voice was nearly haunting coming off of the Vinyl! Get this album, you wont be sorry.
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on September 11, 2017
Great album, good sound on vinyl. Only problem is the vinyl sleeve (I don't know the right word, the cardboard album cover that holds the record) doesn't hold the record snugly. When closed, the record can slip out if you tilt. it
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on January 6, 2011
I first was introduced to Flo + the Machine from the Eclipse soundtrack. Their track Heavy In Your Arms was hauntingly beautiful and one of the best on the album. I then saw their live performance on SNL and was easily blown away. I bought the album the next day and have not gotten it out of my head since. Upon first listen I thought each song brilliantly different, each with its own hook that made me move, and I knew then they would all eventually grow on me. But instead of the norm with the sounds seeping into familiarity with repetition, this album inhabited me very much like a fever. Low grade at first, then bursting to flames especially once I realized each lyric. Florence Welch's lyrics are profoundly bold in their honesty, laced with morbidity about love and loss which makes them that much more demanding to be heard. Almost scary that someone so young has experienced so much, but I chalk it up to raw talent. And that is what makes Florence + the Machine one of the top artists to watch out for from this day forward. As life evolves for Miss Welch, I'm eager to hear how it unfolds in her lyrics and told by her voice, not unlike a great novel.
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on April 20, 2011
I usually stick to book reviews, but Lungs is such a strong album that it deserves all the praise it can get. As debuts go, I'd rate it up there with those of Tori Amos and Tracy Chapman. (Though in fairness to Amos, the starkly personal nature of her lyrics in Little Earthquakes would give it a slight edge over Lungs.) The lyrics are poetic, and the music is energetic and gripping--a blend of Amos, Sarah MacLachlan, and Kate Bush, all seemingly fired up on a six-pack of Red Bull.

There isn't a weak track on this album, though the blazing gems of "Dog Days Are Over"; "Rabbit Heart"; "Drumming Song"; and "Cosmic Love" stand out. The only thing missing would be a ballad suitable for slow dancing in the dark, though arguably that would be inconsistent with the album's energy level.

All in all, this is a great one for almost anything--a gray day in the office or an open sunswept highway. I'm hooked. 4-1/2 pulsing white-hot stars.
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on January 27, 2011
Don't even questioning buying this album. If you like any of the singles from Florence and the Machine, you will hear nothing but more of what you like. This album has not a single dull song: I expected at least one poorly-executed, boring, obligatory electro-chanteuse number, but I am disappointed. All of the songs are positively engaging and the lyrics are brilliant and provocative. I write away quoted This Is Spinal Tap, saying "Every song on this record is a hit!" but I wasn't kidding. "Kiss with a Fist" is probably the worst song on this album and it is awesome.

I also expected the album to sound as dry and non-musical as most recent recordings. Instead the production and recording are superb, with clear keyboards, the harp and the awesome, loud drums. I'm on the verge of not being able to listen to this while I work since I find it so captivating. As I said, if you like "Dog Days" or any of the other singles, you will only hear more excellent, well-performed and well-recorded songs. I already think Florence is brilliant and I can't wait to hear her next work.
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