I have these two albums to review, both of which I've thought are okay, but not wonderful. So I haven't felt like writing a full blown review of either, and so rather than delay them further, I decided to write shorter reviews of both.
Florence and the Machine - Lungs (3/5)
Florence Welch, better known under her stagename Florence and the Machine is another one of the hotly tipped "new" acts of 2009. Lungs even scored the tremendous honor of a Mercury Prize nomination. Her sound is a blend of contrasts--the sweet melodies of acoustic strings (harps, violins, guitars, etc.) contrasting with loud bursts of percussion and amplified instruments. Even her vocals follow suit, shifting from warbly musings during the verses to full tilt howls during the choruses. It's the kind of music you expect will be scoring indie film trailers for the next few years. And while I like quite a few of the songs, overall, it's not really doing it for me. My biggest gripe is that after awhile, I feel like it's the same trick again and again. So I generally like the first few songs on the album, and by the time I've reached the end I'm really ready for something else. Preferably something other than Bat for Lashes or Feist, who makes music in a similar vein. Best: Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), Dog Days Are Over, Kiss with a Fist, Hurricane Drunk, Blindness.
The Dead Weather - Horehound (3/5)
As if The White Stripes and The Raconteurs are not enough (as well as production duties for others), Jack White has gone and formed himself yet another band. And you guessed it, they make Southern-style indie-blues-rock. Only this time the results are moodier and darker. At its best, there are some rocking moments like "Hang You from the Heavens," "I Cut Like a Buffalo" and the middle section of "Treat Me Like Your Mother." "Rocking Horse" is pleasantly bass-heavy. The album's interesting, but not as much fun as listening to the White Stripes. Best: Hang You from the Heavens, I Cut Like a Buffalo, Treat Me Like Your Mother.