Entertainment Magazine

Florence + the Machine’s Ceremonials [8.2]

Posted on the 08 November 2011 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie

florenceceremontals 550x551 FLORENCE + THE MACHINES CEREMONIALS [8.2]

Shake It Out – Florence + the Machine // Buy

Following the success of her debut full length, Lungs, Florence Welch, the British, semi-yodeling, flowy cape-wearing fiend behind Florence and the Machine (@flo_tweet), could have ridden the wave of “Dog Days are Over” and “You’ve Got the Love” through till the end of the decade. But lo and behold, Florence has dug deep into her sparkly bag of tricks to put together a righteous follow-up with Ceremonials.

In typical Florence and the Machine fashion, the album features bellowing choral arrangements, often layered upon her own vocals to create a very powerful sound. This cathedral-esq timbre is accented by booming, syncopated drum hits and additional well-balanced auxiliary percussion, which avoid kitsch, but help visualize the dream-like landscape Florence is creating.

This release wouldn’t be from Florence and the Machine without an anthem. “Dog Days are Over” permeated our musical arteries, becoming an instant household classic and the soundtrack to every sizzle reel in North America. Ceremonials features a number of anthem worthy tracks, beginning with “What the Water Gave Me”, a slightly darker song with a deliberately rough-around-the-edges feel, highlighted by a gritty leading bass line and cavernous echoes throughout.

For fans of Florence and the Machine who are looking for that signature arms-wide-spread, head-back, dance-in-the-rain track, however, the album features two ripe candidates. “All This & Heaven Too”, which features a heavy emphasis on harp play and rich layers of Florence’s own vocals, has sing-along qualities like no other track on the album. Still, the runaway anthem of choice seems to be “Shake it Out”, a track which puts Florence’s competency as a lyricist on display with complex verses and a perfectly constructed call-and-response chorus which screams for arena participation.

Welch has set the bar extremely high for herself with the success of Lungs, but Ceremonials definitely has the legs to stand with it. The harp features, consistent syncopations and dream-like choral arrangements wear the Florence seal with pride, and it’s simply a matter of time before we are toe-tapping, hand clapping and singing every word in unison—whether we mean to or not.


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog