Florence and the Machine - Lungs (2009)
Like the artist that follows on this list, Florence Welch and her group of machinists certainly have gotten their share of adoration from critics. Plus, the band has sold a number of records. But if you are standing in the company of others and start discussing Florence and the Machine, how many of the other people truly know the excellence of the music? Oh, they should know, but do they?
From the very beginning of her career, Florence has had to put a stop to what record companies wanted her to be. Maybe a bit more Pat Benatar than Kate Bush. Both artists are great in their own way, but Florence never wanted to be Benatar because that might feel a bit too constricting. Instead, her songs are darker and scarier than what pop singers normally would do.
On Lungs, Florence masters the same kind of thing that the Smashing Pumpkins or Radiohead might do: Begin softly and end with a bang. Album opener "Dog Days Are Over" dances around like a witch in the woods but far more jovial, "Kiss with a Fist" starts off angry, and for good reason, and only gets more mad as the song rages on.
Then there are gems such as "Between Two Lungs" which is a song about a kiss. There is no hint of darkness to the track. But the track is an example of Florence's versatility and wonder and why her music simply needs to be mentioned in greater circles of otherwise normal people.