Tuesday, July 7

Freedom Fighters

Florence first. I first saw young Welch at the Liverpool Barfly early last summer as part of Sound City. The fake flowers and the empty birdcage were all a little galling to be honest, but then her chin-dropping vocals made up for it. But then at times such histrionic recoils of flakiness also came off kinda vexing. But then she covered Mystery Jets' 'Flakes' - worth all the annoyances put together. But then I came away thinking there just weren't enough moments of utter straight-up nubtastic pop sensualness blathering out at me. So, as she and her machine shot offstage, really I wasn't sure what to take heed of. Course then the hype followed while she shlopped over to some Hackney synagogue to make the all-important debut...

And La Roux? They, or rather she, I pretty much fell in love with straight off. Away from and regardless of their 'lil mania of hype, Elly Jackson is a shining light for Grey Britain. A forward-thinking, young, no-dressin'-like-tart, cooler-than-thou, R&B-dissin' piece of musical perfection. Not to mention the songs. So, understandably, I expected her first full-disc outing to be rather strong. Which it is. Heck, it really is. But - something I feel shameful to type - I was, well, surprised at how quickly I grew bored of it. It was meant to blare out of my iTunes nonstop for at least a week and a half, but after a day or two, I dunno what happened. It was just... odd.

But not as odd as my reaction to Florence's 'Lungs'. I figured it'd react on me like when I saw her live - very half-great, half-irksome. But it hasn't. This is the album I've been listening to day after day after day. The songs sound huge, production is a perfect size, the melodies are about as addictive as M&S all butter chocolate chunk cookies. It's fantastic, it is majestic, it is everything I didn't think it would be and more.

And yes, the two are very different. But both are female, both albums came out within 8 days of each other and both are actual gleaming evidence that the globe is not all swine flu, poverty and Proposition 8. Who's better? Welch, then. Which really wasn't supposed to happen.

PS Little Boots' atrocity of a debut is obviously not even in the same ball park.