Florence and the Machine

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Lungs (2009), 6.5/10
Ceremonials (2011), 5.5/10
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015), 4/10
High as Hope (2018), 4/10
Dance Fever (2022), 4/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Florence and the Machine, a London-based punkish band that frequently employs arrangements of harp and fronted by casual female singer Florence Welch, debuted with Lungs (Island, 2009). Kiss with a Fist (the breakthrough single of 2008, written by Matt Allchin) introduced her as with a KT Tunstall-style deranged shuffle propelled by a stomping beat. In the album she proved more mature through songs such as Dog Days Are Over, a ballad detonated by a sudden vocal shift into a pounding and shouting rhythm'n'blues a` la Aretha Franklin; or Girl with One Eye (originally written by the Ludes), that is simultaneously operatic and agonizing blues; or Drumming Song, a strange hybrid that employs African overtones to craft an Enya-style magical atmosphere (written by Crispin Hunt and James Ford); or Blinding, whose surreal atmosphere is woven by tribal drumming a` la U2, distorted undulated organ, tinkling harp, and electronic drones. The single Rabbit Heart and I'm Not Calling You a Liar are pseudo-gospels that mainly showcase her vocals.

The solemn Shake It Out was another killer single, off Ceremonials (Universal Republic, 2011), but the album drifted through the mournful Only If For a Night, the magniloquent No Light, No Light and gospel-y What the Water Gave Me, and swinging from the Brit-pop of Breaking Down to the Tamla-soul of Lover to Lover, without achieving the charged atmosphere of the debut. The most notable aspect was the way the keyboard instruments were incorporated in the arrangements (Rusty Bradshaw's electronic organ, Paul Epworth's pump organ, Isabella Summers' synthesizer, Nikolaj Torplarsen's piano).

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015), with Ship to Wreck, and High as Hope (2018), with South London Forever and Patricia, are bogged down by too many tedious ballads.

Dance Fever (Polydor, 2022) contains the danceable Free, propelled by a Billy Idol-esque electronic disco beat, and other lame imitations of old-fashioned disco-music, but mainly bland, uninspired ballads.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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