Florence + the Machine "Ceremonials" Album Review

posted on: October 31, 2011

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i first discovered her larger than life vocals while shopping at a local clothing store in the summer of 2009.  unable to get it out of my head, it wasn't the fact that i was listening to a cover of hospital beds, it was the female voice behind those familiar lyrics.  turned out that it was florence welch, and it just so happened that her debut album lungs had just been released that week.  thirty seconds into listening to the cd, i knew it was just the sound i had been desperately searching the music scene for.  and like a missionary for the church of florence, i informed the masses of her talent, turning anyone i could into a believer.  a year later, i was lucky enough to see florence + the machine perform live at the commodore ballroom.  her stage presence still haunts me.  it was by far the best live show of my life.


soon after, florence + the machine broke into the north american music scene.  with her song dog days are over featured in the eat, pray, love trailer, an appearance on snl, plenty of radio play, and a notable fashion sense, people started to notice her.  it always saddens me when this happens because as much as artists claim to stay true to themselves, i feel like they end up lost somewhere in between the depths of celebrity life and the pressure to consistently satisfy expectations musically.  so two and a half years later, i received an ealy copy of her new album with a large amount of cynicism.  i was so prepared for disappointment, that i almost tried not to like it.  but welch defied the odds and actually produced a cd that is still very much her and her unique sound.


 her second album is appropriately named ceremonials, as a florence + the machine album is comparable to a religious experience.  much like her last record, it starts off with the more upbeat/pop friendly tunes.  her single shake it out will likely appeal to those who appreciated dog days on her last cd.  when i'd initially heard what the water gave me as a single i wasn't too keen, but listening to it in context with the rest of the album, it's the perfect compliment.
with so much time to grow, this album is noticeably darker.  perhaps not on the surface, but lyrically it is very apparent.  something that i think florence is very open about and comfortable sharing with the world.  i almost feel as though i'm fighting life's demons alongside her, especially so in seven devils.


the driving force behind this album is of course, florence welch's voice, which i believe is best showcased in leave my body and spectrum.  it's her ability to belt out those notes on your behalf that is so powerful.  with each listen, i find different songs that stand out for me.  tonight i find remain nameless especially interesting because it has such classic pop music components but strikes me as such a different sound.


florence  the machine's ceremonials is a contender for album of the year.  the repeat button is already wearing down and i've only been listening to it since friday!  i highly suggest you purchase this cd as soon as humanly possible and share your opinion.  music is so subjective, i'm interested to hear what others think of this album as well!

9 comments:

  1. Couldn't wait for this album! I pre-ordered it and now i am loving it just as much as lungs!

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  2. I absolutly love her and i am sad to say that I didn't know she had another album coming out so thanks for this post ... I can't wait to get my hands on it and give it a listen ... I still on a very regular basis listen to her old album, it never gets old for me!!
    jess
    www.jesscauseblog.blogspot.com

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  3. I can't believe I still haven't listened to this yet! Downloading noooow. Hope you're having a good week so far love.

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  4. I have been waiting for sooo long! I felt the same way that I thought it wasn't going to be as powerful as lungs but she surprised me. Big time! Definitely a lot darker than lungs but I love that about her. I am always blown away how she combines such powerful and upbeat music with powerfully darker lyrics. The drumming really sets her apart with the repeating heaviness but always changing tempo. The harp is really amazing in this album too, I feel like it's more noticeable in this album. So in love! I hope she's in Vancouver again soon, still the most amazing concert I've ever been to!

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  5. absolutely adore her style. I wasn't a big fan of the hit Dog Days but I heard some of her other stuff through the Twilight soundtracks and it was much darker and heavier. I preferred the darker sound and her lyrics are definitely haunting. Will give this a spin.

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  6. I'm sooo jealous that you got to see her live! Loved her last album and it sounds like I'll like this one too! Thanks so much for the review!

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  7. I am a recent convert to the church of Florence, being just generally out of the loop when it comes to pop culture, but I cannot wait to get my hands on this album. (Yes, I still buy physical albums. Like I said, out of the loop!)
    xox,
    Cee

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  8. fashion sense and excellent taste in music, both essentials for a blogger.

    her voice is absolutely mesmerizing, i've only heard shake it out so far, can't wait to hear the rest of the album. florence is nothing but talent and brilliance.

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