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LP (12" album, 33 rpm), Best Of, Gatefold
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UK LP pressing. 2009 debut album from the hotly tipped UK outfit fonted by Florence Welch. Lungs, produced by Paul Epworth, James Ford and Steve Mackay, is an intoxicating mix of delicate fragility, dark humor and twisted Tim Burton style fairy-tales. From the live favourite 'You've Got The Love' to the raw Blues-tinged 'Girl With One Eye' to the beautifully painful 'Between Two Lungs', the album is crammed with crowd pleasers. Also boasting fresh tracks like new single 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)', 'Drumming' - with its epic denseness, the terrifyingly brilliant 'Howl' and 'Hurricane Drunk' with it's paradoxical charms of heartbreak, love and loss, Lungs promises to leave us wanting more of the insanely captivating Florence Welch. Universal. 2009.
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Now, onto the main problem. The vinyl LP is extremely crackly and poppy. I've cleaned it three times (and once using wood glue) to try to alleviate the crackling. The wood glue helped more than anything but its still a little crackly compared to what new records sound like... Also noticed the outer edge of the lp has a very small chip on the non-playable area on the perimeter. The hole in the center for the spindle to go through is also not cut out well and has bits of thin vinyl still left so you have to use pressure to get it onto the spindle.
The worst part is that I bought it entirely new. Just getting it out of the package, I could see small scuffs from the cheap paper sleeve. There were bits of dust/debris all over as well. This LP plays on par with a Billy Ocean album my dad bought in the 80s, stored in a closet in a box laying flat underneath about 40 cassettes. Absolutely terrible quality for an album that wasn't preowned which is such a shame since this has been one of my favorite albums since its release in 2009.
Giving it 3 stars instead of 1 since you get a free download of the album as well. For $16 (at the time of writing this review), that's a steal since you get the physical LP and the digital copy. You can just use the LP and its sleeve for display. That's about all its good for if you don't know how to deep clean an album or don't want to go through the trouble.
I ordered this album because I love the music so much. Unfortunately my "new" record skips and plays poorly on both sides. See video. I don't understand what's going wrong here. I was under the impression that the record I bought was brand new. Even straight out of the sleeve, the record was dusty, and covered in particles. I can't fathom why a supposedly "brand new" record should be in such poor condition. I'm certain that I didn't do anything to damage it myself; I always baby my records very gently. I also double-checked my record player by playing another record. All my other records play just fine. I'm using a Technics SL1200 mkII record player with a new stylus. There's no good reason for such poor playback.
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If you're in the same boat as me and don't know the band particularly well then i'd recommend giving it a try.
But wait! After hearing my friends talking about her, I decided to give her a second chance. Instantly I was amazed at how beautiful Florence was. Dog Days Are Over is an extremely powerful opener and sets the tone perfectly for the album to follow. From there, we move on to Rabbit Heart, which I listened to on it's own for two hours straight. That's the great thing about her, she has so many harmonies in amongst the tracks, it feels like a fresh experience every time.
I'm not calling you a liar is my favourite track. It is beautiful and calming, while still implying that Florence kick that I now love.
To call this album the best in my collection is a mighty big thing to say. It is rare to find a cd where every song is equally as charming and wonderful. Flawless in every way. Thank you, Miss Welch!
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