Adele’s album 21 has been the top selling Billboard album for seven weeks.  You’ve probably heard the English singer’s “Rolling in the Deep” on popular radio.  The acclaim and success is nothing new for Adele.  She won the 2009 Grammy for best new artist because of her heralded album 19, and with 21, she’s probably destined for next year’s album of the year.

Adele’s success is emblematic of a larger trend.  British women—Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, and Florence + the Machine—have taken over pop music, in much the same way Francophones, like Arcade Fire and Phoenix dominated rock the past several years.

This women’s British Invasion has served as a welcomed foil to the miscreant party girl music of American singers like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and  Ke$ha.  Lyrically, the work of these British singers is more meaningful–more about young love, rather than raging lust.  Musically, their work is better produced–with actual instruments, rather than generic synthesizers.

Of the British invaders, I find myself intrigued most by Florence + the Machine, which consists of Florence Welch and an array of backing musicians.  Her best known single, “Dog Days Are Over,” shows the flashes of creativity, characteristic of all her music.  I’ll warn you though:  if ever a music video deserved a Beavis and Butthead commentary, this is the one.


One of Florence’s songs, “You’ve Got the Love,” has explicitly religious lyrics.

Sometimes I fell like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying “Lord I just don’t care”
But you’ve got the love I need to see me through

Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough
And things go wrong no matter what I do
Now and then it seems that life is just too much
But you’ve got the love I need to see me through

When food is gone you are my daily meal
When friends are gone I know my savior’s love is real
Your love is real

You’ve got the love (repeated)

The music video associated with the song–replete with sexual imagery–distances the lyrics from an explicitly Christian connotation.  Still the words, themselves, could easily fit into the playlist of a radio station that targets the Christian demographic.

What’s the explanation, here?  Do you think Florence has written a quality piece of Christian devotional literature?  Or, is our concept of “Christian music”–and the art that sallies about under that concept–vague and, perhaps, flawed?

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