What's hot and what's not in this week's new releases.

By Polly Weeks

There's a lot of expectation riding on Florence And The Machine's shoulders, with the young singer having already won the Critics' Choice Award at the 2009 Brits. Will she live up to the hype? Elsewhere, Bugged Out! give us another dance compilation and David Bowie's VH1 Storytellers is released.

Florence And The Machine - Lungs Plucked from the cuddly, credible world of indie rock and cast into the great music biz hype machine, Florence Welch follows up a string of fantastic singles with her full-length LP on Island Records. Early singles Dog Days Are Over and the White Stripes-ish Kiss With A First stand out as the strongest tracks here, plus of course You Got The Love (a live band cover version of a mash-up, very post-modern). Elsewhere on the album, Florence earns all those Kate Bush comparisons by playing the moody, arty diva. A great debut.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Steve Kerr)

Slow Club - Yeah So Two precocious young pups trading skiffle-inspired rhythms, whistled refrains and handclaps, this Sheffield boy-girl duo's first album is a delightful blend of bittersweet pop and folkier tracks demonstrating their more reflective side. The raucous likes of Because We're Dead will inspire hoedowns in bedrooms all over the country, while slower numbers such as Dance 'Till The Morning Light and Come On Youth recall Bright Eyes at their most stripped down and hopeful. Anyone who fell in love with the soundtrack to indie flick Juno will find plenty to enjoy here, but just like that divisive compilation it's not for everyone - if you cringe at the thought of its oh-so-twee stylings you might be advised to steer well clear, but everyone else is in for a treat.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Simon Harker)

Gretchen Peters With Tom Russell - One To The Heart, One To The Head This collection of songs takes a nostalgic glance at the American West. If you're not a fan of country music, don't stick around for this album - after one listen to it you'll be sitting on a rocking chair, chewing tobacco looking out over your ranch. Guadalupe highlights the quality of Gretchen Peters's vocals. The one annoyance with the album is that an accordion is on some of the songs. This is no criticism of the musician responsible, but on songs that are otherwise relaxed country numbers, the prevalence of the instrument is out of place.

Rating: 5/10 (Review by Polly Weeks)

Engineers - Three Fact Fader The London four-piece co-produced their second album with Sigur Ros collaborator Ken Thomas, and his influence definitely shows. Full of instrumental leads and beautiful - yet monotone - singing, it could be the soundtrack to an arty film about losing the one you love. It's not really a singles album, with one song flowing into the next, which can prove slightly difficult as there are neither any standout tracks nor any dismal failures.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Polly Weeks)

Brodinski - Bugged Out! Presents Suck My Deck French DJ and Keanu Reeves lookalike Brodinski delivers his debut mix CD for the erstwhile Bugged Out label. In contrast to recent Suck My Deck sets by Simian Mobile Disco and Damian Lazarus, the track selection here (while excellent) sticks strictly to an electro-meets-minimal-techno blueprint. For the average punter with no more than a passing interest in the genre, this lack of eclecticism might seem a little dull. More dedicated fans might applaud his purism and his decision to release a mix which is closer to a live club set rather than a sit-at-home chill-out CD. Crisp, elegant mixing ensures the momentum never wanes across the 24 tracks.

Rating: 6/10 (Review by Steve Kerr)

Vanessa Williams - The Real Thing It's so easy to forget how Vanessa Williams has another talent aside from acting. When she's not playing the scheming Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, the 46-year-old is working on music. The Real Thing, her eighth album, is jazz-infused with a touch of Latin America. Featuring contributions from Stevie Wonder, Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, Bill Withers and Bebel Gilberto, it's clear that the Grammy award-winner is serious about her music. Songs like Breathless, Loving You and Close To You are strong efforts held up by Williams's smooth vocals. Sultry and sexy, this is the perfect album to chill out to on a lazy Sunday morning.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Shereen Low)

The Duckworth Lewis Method - The Duckworth Lewis Method A concept album about cricket doesn't immediately grab the attention, particularly if you're not a fan of the sport. But therein lies the beauty of this project, brought to us by The Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash - you don't have to be a cricket nut to appreciate the timeless melodies, but it probably helps. The puns are all there if you can spot them - named after the scoring system used to resolve weather-affected limited-over cricket matches, the album begins with The Coin Toss, The Sweet Spot, Meeting Mr Miandad and The End Of The Over - but it really doesn't matter if you can't, just savour the music.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Andy Welch)

White Denim - Fits Having skirted around the edge of the US indie scene for some time, Texan trio White Denim have managed to build up a great reputation for their rowdy, eclectic garage rock. This, their second album released in the UK, features the abrasive riffs, fierce drums and range of weird and wonderful influences we've come to expect. All Consolation is a standout, while Say What You Want is a muscular, almost Zeppelin-esque assault. The influences come so thick and fast that it's almost impossible to get a grasp on what's happening. While that makes for an exciting listen, it's not the easiest.

Rating: 6/10 (Review by Andy Welch)

Pope - Tall Tales & Cheap Thrills This is the second release from Chris Pope and drummer Buddy Ascott, both formerly of late-1970s mod-punk band The Chords. It builds on the success of their first outing, the Grace Of God EP back in 2006, with little sign of Pope's angry streak diminishing with age. Most Of What Follows Is True and Make My Day kick the album off in energetic style, while Be Careful What You Wish For ushers in some neat touches. The quality of the album, which features former Style Council member Mick Talbot on keyboards, is really evident on King Of The World and 9 To 5 And Me.

Rating: 7/10 (Review by Andy Welch)

David Bowie - VH1 Storytellers Fast becoming the music channel's answer to MTV's much-loved Unplugged series, the Storytellers format is a uniquely fascinating one. Instead of merely asking stars to produce intimate readings of their best-loved songs, VH1 ask them to provide lengthy anecdotes and explanations around them - something sure to appeal to Bowie enthusiasts. This 1999 recording sees the Thin White Duke indulge his inner stand-up, mercilessly lampooning himself and others as he presents a sideways look at his back-catalogue. Although largely avoiding his biggest hits, the music is natural and the stories always engaging.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Rory Dollard)

Singles by Polly Weeks :: VV Brown - Shark In The Water Despite the hype, she's still been unable to have a proper chart hit. Could this be the one? It's summery enough with a good driving chorus, good luck VV!

:: 30H!3 - Don't Trust Me Apparently this band are already a big hit in the US, but going by this rap-pop-rock release it's not immediately clear why. Perhaps it's a grower.

:: The Maccabees - You Can Give It Taken from their second album Wall Of Arms, this indie number is a strong single - if you have a chance, check out its excellent video.

On the road Live reviews :: Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, June 26 As soon as Neil Young kicked off his performance with Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) it was clear we were in for a night of rock and roll. Following a rip-roaring set which included an almost 20-minute version of Down By The River and acoustic highlights Heart of Gold and Old Man, the 63-year-old finished with Rockin' In The Free World, which kept teasing the crowd as it burst back into life with yet another rousing chorus. Young's fans wanted more as they called for an encore, and they got it. The Crazy Horse star came back on and started performing The Beatles' A Day In The Life. Then suddenly, as if from nowhere a man hurtled out from the side of stage and joined Young at the mic. The crowd stood and stared, they'd seen his face before - it was Sir Paul McCartney. Macca bowed down before the rocker and strummed his guitar, and they took to the xylophone together to complete the duet. Oh boy, what a show it was.

(Review by Albertina Lloyd) :: Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park, June 27 Having avoided the festival circuit for the majority of his 35-year career, Bruce Springsteen picked 2009 as the year to bring his E-Street Band extravaganza to the masses. With Glastonbury's masses already tamed, The Boss waited just 24 hours to move on to London with his three-hour romp through one of the finest back-catalogues in rock history. Having made one early appearance on-stage with fellow New Jersey boys The Gaslight Anthem, whose afternoon slot set the tone perfectly for what followed, Springsteen started his headline show with a romping, stomping cover of The Clash's London Calling - an expertly measured nod to the capital. From there he moved effortlessly between tracks from his 1975 classic Born To Run - whose title track was a notable high point - to this year's celebratory Working On A Dream. With guitarists Steve Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren in tow, and fan favourite Clarence Clemons stealing the show with his sax solos, Springsteen worked the crowd into a frenzy long before an encore which reached frenzy with Dancing In The Dark, Glory Days and Rosalita. While Springsteen's show-stopping routine - equal parts tongue-in-cheek preacher and bar-room rocker - could not be beaten, elsewhere there were fine sets from the Dave Matthews Band and James Morrison. Newcomers The Low Anthem, meanwhile, performed a beautifully intimate show in the Pepsi Stage.

(Review by Rory Dollard) Upcoming tours :: They were a big success at Glastonbury, and now UK rock band Enter Shikari have announced a UK and Ireland tour. They take to the road on October 2 in Belfast and finish in Liverpool on October 22. For full listings go to www.entershikari.com.

:: Their single Don't Upset The Rhythm had people up and dancing throughout the country, now take the chance to check out The Noisettes on tour, starting on October 11 at the Glasgow Garage. For more details go to www.myspace.com/noisettesuk.