Artist: Florence + The Machine
Label: Universal Music Operations Limited
King by Florence + The Machine is a strong 4-minute, 40-second powerfully delivered declaration of gender expression and concerns the far too familiar discussion of career and family. The first few lines depict an argument between Florence Welch and her partner about her career and starting a family. Throughout the song, the theme of career and family collide. Welch's lyrics set the scene of her being adorned with a golden crown and sword, creating regal imagery. The song's chorus repeats the mantra that she is not a mother nor a bride. Welch has anointed herself, King, and rightfully so.
Welch goes on to sing about how women are changelings, referring to Irish mythology where changelings are believed to be evil fairies/shapeshifters that take the place of a human who was stolen by a fairy. The harmonies are gorgeous, and her annunciation and clear vocals are always appreciated. Welch's recognizable vibrato, boarding on tremolo, gives this song the ethereal and romantic sound heard in her previous works. The references to Irish mythology and monarchical royalty also add to the romance and imagery of the piece. She is a highly talented lyricist and vocalist. She uses her range as a mezzo-soprano and her extremely well-developed breath support to deliver some fantastic notes throughout the song, accompanied by a steady drumbeat and subtle guitar.
I also highly recommend watching the accompanying music video. The influences of royalty, mythology, and fairytale are seen throughout the video. Welch does a fantastic job visualizing her lyrics. The footage also feels slightly reminiscent of dramatizations done of the Salem Witch Trials. The ending scene also seems to reference changelings again.
Reviewer's Name: Rose Prendergast
Date of Review: 02/25/22