Single Review: Florence + the Machine – ‘Cosmic Love’

The last year or so have been very busy for the incredibly gifted Miss. Welch and her stormy, powerhouse vocals, haven’t they? 3rd in the BBC’s Sound of 2009 Poll; a triple platinum-selling début album; a BRIT Award for Best British Album; a collaboration with one of Brrtain’s hottest hip-hop artists; an album which spawned seven singles; a head-lining tour; ad commercials; plenty of promotion and chart success (eventually). It’s obvious she must have a absolutely brilliant PR Team right…? Right?

So when I came to listen to ‘Lungs’, it came as quite a surprise that the single releases were as they were: first, we had the lukewarm ‘Kiss With A Fist’; then the pounding ‘Dog Days Are Over’; the lead single-worthy ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ followed; and then the tempestuous ‘Drumming Song’ which was succeded by a cover of The Source‘s ‘You Got The Love’ (Florence felt the need for grammar was important so she change the title to the grammatically correct ‘You’ve Got The Love’).

Up until then none of those song set the charts on fire like ‘You’ve Got The Love’, which I see as her worst song (but still very good) because the only thing remotely Florence-ish about it are the harps.

But then along came the BRIT Awards, and then came Dizzee Rascal. Ch-ching! Cashing in off the success of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ and Dizzee’s ‘Dirtee Cash’, Florence earned her first Top 3 hit with ‘You’ve Got The Dirtee Love’.

After this, Florence had ‘Dog Days Are Over’ used in a commercial for the Channel 4 premiére of ‘Slumdog Millionare’, causing the song to peak at #23 in the UK singles charts. A whole two months later, after her record company chucked in a load of extra cash for a shiny new video with big hair, the song was re-released, only to peak at (let’s face it, it was) an extremely disappointing #24. Oooh, ain’t that a kick in the teeth? But surely, if ‘Cosmic Love’ shot to #3 in Ireland on downloads from the album alone nearly a year earlier, why did Island Records not think it a good idea to give it a release then?

So, are we all unanimous that Florence’s PR machine might not be all that? Good.

So it still leaves me bewildered that this song was chosen as the seventh release from the album. DO TELL, DO TELL: WHY WAS IT NOT THE FIRST!?

Appearing as a mis-leading ninth track on ‘Lungs’, this song features the usual Florence ingredients: a harp (gotta love it), plenty of boomy drums, full-throated vocals, and a chorus that simply does not rhyme at all. But there’s something about it, something subliminal, something you can’t quite put you’re finger on when you’re listening to it. The chorus is phenomenal: heart-broken lyrics, euphoric drums, and Florence’s signature wail. This song is by far one of the best songs on the album, and whilst unlikely to sway haters’ of Florence’s vocals into liking her, it will please fans and casual listeners will lap it up thanks to it being A-Listed by most UK radio stations.

As for the video, well it’s so so; typical Florence – writhing about with some wind machines and glitter. One thing I will commend though, is the use of lighting and how it emulates the mood of the music. And there’s also a fake tree.

A fantastic closing single for the ‘Lungs’ era, but for the record, ‘Drumming Song’ is better, and so is it’s video.

Rating: 4.5 STARS

Download: July 5th, 2010.

Featured Album: ‘Lungs’

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1 Comment

  1. RandomEnigma

    Great review, OddOne. Cosmic Love is immense and the best track on the album in my opinion although Drumming Song is a close second. Either way they’re both 5 star tracks.

    I like the video for Drumming Song but honestly I had a much better idea. I think both DS and CL have a real Celtic influence in them. I remember when I first heard Cosmic Love, I thought it was Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries.

    If I were to direct Drumming Song, I would have it set it amongst some round towers or old monasteries and have Florence dressed as a nun who falls in love with a man but the drumming noise (commitment to her religion) would act as a magical barrier to falling in love with this man. It would be a big high budget affair. I know it’s very Lady GaGa Alejandro but I had honestly thought of that concept long before that video came out.

    The Cosmic Love video would be set on another planet but with a really organic, fantasy land, a bit like the Shire from The Lord Of The Rings.  A silver man would fall from the sky and it would just be a slicker higher budget version of the video above.

    I’m not saying a higher budget music video is necessary – you only have to look at Beyoncé’s Single Ladies, Erykah Badu’s Window Seat and any of the OK Go videos to see that – but Florence has made so much money. I’d wish she’d put a little more money into her videos, especially as Lungs has pretty much been in The Top 10 since its release last July.

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