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Monday, July 23, 2018

Music This week

There's an interesting story that Florence Welch loves to tell about how she became a professional musician.

Written by Pooja Pillai | Published: July 3, 2010 12:58:21 am

Lungs

Florence + The Machine

Universal Music

Rs 295,rating: HHHH

There’s an interesting story that Florence Welch loves to tell about how she became a professional musician. It goes like this. One day,a highly inebriated Welch followed DJ Mairead Nash into the loo at a pub and started singing. Fascinated,Nash immediately decided to be her manager. There’s little doubt that he found her voice magical. It’s a powerful voice and one so amazingly flexible in its intonations. Take,for instance,the grungy pop song “Kiss with a fist” from Welch’s debut album Lungs. As she sings,“You smashed a plate over my head,” one could swear she’s singing through clenched teeth. But in the next line,“Then I set fire to our bed,” she can’t keep the glee out of her voice.

The whole album is a showcase of Welch’s ease with vocalising different emotions for different scenarios. In “Howl”,she’s desperately in love,screaming in the dark when she’s away from her lover and wanting to drag her teeth on him to taste his beating heart. In “Girl with One Eye”,she’s sinister,and in “Dog Days Are Over”,delirious.

The backing band — The Machine — with its harps,drums,guitar and bass stays in step with Welch’s mercurial vocals. That comes across vividly in the single,“Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)”. (It was alleged that Welch had lifted melody and lyrics from Gang Gang Dance’s House Jam. Welch said it was a tribute.) But that doesn’t take away the fact that the song is art pop at its best. It’s part Studio 54 and part New Age and completely experimental. If she produces another album as well-crafted and sincere as this,we have no doubt she’ll be the true successor to Bjork. pooja.pillai@expressindia.com,/i>

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