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Florence and the Machine - 'Cosmic Love'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:33 UK time, Saturday, 3 July 2010

Florence and the Machine

Does the world really NEED another Florence single right now?. After all, the album is over a year old, the songs it contains, well-thumbed by listeners and producers of TV trails alike. Florence has been inescapable, for better or worse, ever since the beginning of 2009.

This, then, is the final spin of the wheel before Madame Welch has to go off and find some new base metals to turn into pop gold. It's a wheel that probably did not require an extra yank, but that is what is happening, and there's no point in arguing. So far, so what?

But, earlier this week, a strange thing happened. A close friend, someone who has always shown pretty good taste in music, and who doesn't get excited easily, suddenly announced that he didn't hate this song like he hated all the other FloMash songs. Which immediately struck me as odd, because the overriding thought I had on listening again as a single was how very typically Florence it is.

(Here's the video. Are you feeling cosmic, love?)

Everything, from the tribal drums to the sparkly harp, from Florence's dream-stuffed, night-sky lyrics to her windy bellow, is equally well represented in the other works she has already presented for our consideration (twice, in the case of 'Dog Days' and 'You Got The Love'). Hell, even the VIDEO treads on familiar ground.

So if you were to claim that this is your cup of tea - I checked again with him, now he claims to be unable to stop listening to it - surely you have to 'fess up to liking the other stuff too?

Naturally he didn't. But his enthusiasm was a useful way to try and re-experience the thing without feeling the drag of Florence overkill...or Floverkill, as we should probably call it. To try and recapture what makes her good to have around, without the constant strobing churn of visual association that comes with her voice and that harp and those drums - football, Gavin & Stacey, Children In Need, NEW TO BBC3, Glastonbury, BBC Proms, Christmas, New Year, and any documentary with an 'emotional journey' in it - ENOUGH!

When all is said and done it's not her fault people need stirring music to promote their stuff. And she does make stirring music. Very stirring. So stirring, in fact, that it's tempting to conclude that her Machine is actually a food processor.

But even the best food processors need to pause from time to time, if only to resharpen the blades. So, for all that 'Cosmic Love' is a great song on its own merits, it's not a great single. Not right now, anyway.

Three starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Popped Music says: "'Cosmic Love' is true to form for Florence; it's dramatic, it's magical and it's perfect."

P Viktor says: "'Cosmic Love' is one of my favourite songs from the album, even if it is all a bit too Bat For Lashes."

Drowned In Sound says: "'Cosmic Love' still leaves me breathless."


  • Comment number 1.

    :O This song is amazing! I do agree with the idea that she does seem to be dragging out her singles but look at it like this:

    'Kiss With A Fist', 'Drumming Song', and 'Dog Days Are Over' (sort of), never charted - so to casual listener she's only had four singles.

    But this is NOT THE POINT. 'Cosmic Love' is quite amazing.

  • Comment number 2.

    5 stars
    The best song on her album (which is an incredible feat as that album is astoundingly good)
    This song is utterly gorgeus and I hope it does well.
    That saying though, I also hope this is the last single from lungs, as I'd prefer her to focus more on working on her next album

  • Comment number 3.

    Granted it does have the same kind of structure a 'Dog Days Are Over'.

    It starts quiet then crescendos to hugeness then all of a sudden everything stops for quite a boring middle eight sort of thing. Then the song becomes massive once again for Florence's huge trademark finish.

    BUT This is, as Haducon2 has already said, the best song on the album along with 'Drumming Song', which is why I give this 5 stars too.

  • Comment number 4.

    3 STARS! This only gets 3 STARS!

    Fraser, you know I love you, man but giving this masterpiece only 3 stars and JLS' piece of dirge that's also been released the same week as this single 5 stars just makes my soul hurt!

    This track is amazing! A year on and I still get goosebumps everytime I listen to it! INFINITY STARS

  • Comment number 5.

    This is a five star song, Fraser, no doubt about it.(The fact that it's one of my favourite songs of all time has no bearing on this whatsoever!!!) If it's a great song on its own merit, why don't you reflect that in the star rating?? It seems wrong to me you deduct stars for reasons that don't really have anything to do with the song itself..oh well, I know its AMAZING and that's all that matters!

  • Comment number 6.

    And I agree with Random, INFINITY STARS!

  • Comment number 7.

    Couldn't agree more with your friend Fraser. Don't know why but this song hits the mark where her other singles for me (FOR ME. NO ATTACKS PLEASE.) have just slightly missed.

    Perhaps the clue's in the quote from P Viktor - I'm a big Bat For Lashes fan.

  • Comment number 8.

    It's unanimous then!

    JLS are crap, Florence is v good. I demand an answer to the question Randy put forward:

    This song once again proves Florence can belt out a song, write her own songs, and not rely on studio trickery to 'achieve a specific sound'. Whereas the JLS boys can't belt a pair of trousers, can't write a decent song amongst the four of them, but they can rely on studio trickery... and claim it's because they wanted to 'achieve a specific sound'.

    Then they boast "we were on X Factor for ten whole weeks so it's not like we can't sing". Just get out.

    Fraser, this is a five star song, JLS' is a one star song, which is the consensus of most people who've heard it.

  • Comment number 9.

    hmmm... JLS 5-star? THIS 3-star? Well well well... ARE YOU CRAZY?! Best song on the album.

    To be honest, she didn't really NEED to release another single, but this will do the album good non the less like Turn It Up did for Pixie Lott we'll see the album reach the top 10 again no doubt.

    Anyway, her next album is out in 2011 and I CANT WAIT!

  • Comment number 10.

    Has anyone heard Strangeness And Charm? She's performing it a lot at live shows and at Glastonbury and it will most likely appear on Florence's next album. It sounds epic even live so I can't wait to hear the studio recording.

  • Comment number 11.

    Stangeness and Charm is great isn't it, I heard it on the Glastonbury show on the BBC and it sounded massive. Next album sounds like it will be a much darker experience.

  • Comment number 12.

    She claims the next album's theme will be (and I quote) "a crystal themed album".

    'Strangeness And Charm' sounds monumental when she performs it at her live shows, can't wait for her second coming.

  • Comment number 13.

    She keeps changing what the album is going to be about! She said its going to be about science, then chemical (science I know but its more specific) and now crystals. I think we can draw to the conclusion however it will be verrryy different to 'Lungs'.
    And I agree S&C is a fantastic tuunee ;)

  • Comment number 14.

    Florence and the Machine - "Cosmic Love "

    Some albums contain songs that just cry out to be released as singles , and this is one of them ! A powerful track full of emotion that can evoke a feeling of thunder in the heart for the listener .
    A vocal tour de force that grabs at the senses just like an angel plucks a harp .
    Evoking the talented spirits of Bat For Lashes and the wonderful Kate Bush , this really is a song that can make a fan fall totally in love with the skills of an artist , and cause them to buy an album just on the power of one song .
    The instrumentation is married to the voice and melody perfectly.
    Mesmerising and hypnotic in equal measure.
    Superb stuff !

  • Comment number 15.

    Wel its not in the Top 40! Oh well, thats what you get for not releasing this instead of dog days florence!

  • Comment number 16.

    Oh my God, if this doesn't get into the Top 40, I don't know where the UK's music tastes have gone.

  • Comment number 17.

    Oh trust me, this beauty will be getting nowhere near the Top 100. It's downloads put it at #103.

  • Comment number 18.

    Oh well, its her own fault. And I'm glad this songs been kept as a Florence lover secret anyway! The fact it got to number 3 in Ireland should make up for its low UK ranking anyway.

    If its at 103 now, it'll defiantly hit the top 100! Me thinks about 70-80ish.

  • Comment number 19.

    HA! 51! This proves the power of 'THE PHYSICAL SINGLE'!


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