Florence + the Machine has seemingly boomed over the course of 2010 and 2011. With the song “Dog Days Are Over” fueling their rise to fame, the group has received both critical acclaim and fan praise alike.
The group released its first CD, Lungs, in 2009. This week, the album was rereleased as a two-disc set including the original thirteen-song disc and an entire new eleven-song disc.
The original tracks of Lungs’ first disc are brilliant. The appeal of the entire disc stems from lead singer Florence Welch’s stellar vocals and the band’s darkly whimsical instrumentals.
“Howl,” arguably the most outstanding track, is a haunting lyrical tale of a love turned violent with passion. The string quartet, piano and drums flow together seamlessly. Welch’s howling voice flows over the music. The vocals grow progressively more intense over the duration of the song until Welch is bursting with the words, “Be careful of the curse that falls on young lovers/ Starts so soft and sweet and turns them to hunters.”
Other key tracks include “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up),” “Kiss With a Fist” and “Drumming Song.”
“Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” features light piano, mesmerizing harp and booming backup singers. The song displays Welch’s incredible span, ranging from airy, high-pitched vocals to a chorus full of heart and soul.
The masochistic love song “Kiss With a Fist” focuses on drums and guitar, with a brief guitar solo in the middle. This piece offers a change of pace from Welch’s darker songs and sounds almost comically mainstream in comparison to the rest of the disc’s tracks.
“Drumming Song” comes directly after “Kiss With a Fist,” bringing the CD back to its fantastical sound. With thumping drums and bouncing piano, the music is a perfect reflection of the chorus lyrics, “Louder than sirens, louder than bells/ Sweeter than Heaven, and hotter than Hell.”
The second disc picks up where the original Lungs left off. Both “Hardest of Hearts” and “Bird Song” completely capture the listener.
The track “Hardest of Hearts” stands out with addicting drumbeats and subtle string instruments. Once again, Welch darkly croons, this time almost as if in mourning.
“Bird Song” alternates between light, airy vocals to a sound simultaneously tough and passionate.
The second disc also includes demos of previously released songs and the unique duet “You’ve Got the Dirtee Love” with British rapper Dizzee Rascal.
Florence + the Machine are currently working on their second CD with the title and the release date TBA.