Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials Review
The key word for the new album, Ceremonials, from Florence + The Machine is “anthemic.” This is true in almost every aspect of this disc. Producer Paul Epworth, fresh off creating hits for Adele’s “21” earlier this year, is back at it for Florence and he holds nothing back for these tracks. The album begins with “Only If For A Night” which soars to great heights with its chours and layered backing vocals. Next is the first single from the album, “Shake It Off,” which seems to begin a bit muddled with the an accompanyment of an organ but then breaks into something that would fit into a gospel record with a full choir.
The focal point for this record seems to be larger than life vocals. This is a smart move considering Florence Welch seems to carry the band on her voice alone. “Breaking Down” is reminiscent of an Arcade Fire anthem with a powerful hook and a choir pushing emotions through the notes of the song. The rumored second single “Lover To Lover” is full of Adele-esque 1960′s girl pop which Florence excels in. After their cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” earlier this year, I was definitely craving more retro-inspired tracks from them.
Though this record isn’t a new leaf turned by the band for their sophomore effort, the band just seems to have realized what they are good at and simply run with it. There are a number of tracks on Ceremonials which are reminiscent of the group’s debut, Lungs. “What The Water Gave Me” and “No Light, No Light” are both tracks with the same harp-plucking goodness that their debut offered.
Overall, this record is a huge soul record with a modern touch. Although it isn’t clear yet how well this record will translate live, on wax it is one to remember. The only rough spots on this record seem to be “Heartlines” and “Seven Devils” which make up the meat of the middle of the record. These songs seem to have all the same elements of their album-mates but fail to go anywhere interesting. Although when speaking of “rough spots” this doesn’t say much coming from a record that is so well done that it is hard to find any sour notes.
Seven Devils – Florence + the Machine [Music Video]
Florence + the Machine – “Breaking Down” (Official Video)
Florence and the Machine are an English indie rock band that formed in London in 2007, consisting of vocalist Florence Welch, keyboardist Isabella Summers, guitarist Rob Ackroyd, harpist Tom Monger, and a collaboration of other musicians. Wikipedia
Ceremonials is the second studio album by English indie rock band Florence and the Machine. It was released on 28 October 2011 by Island Records. The band started working on the album in 2010 and finished it in 2011. Wikipedia