Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials: Album Review

November 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

British indie pop band Florence + The Machine released their sophomore project, Ceremonials on November 1st to mixed reviews. This record took the dramatic notes from their debut effort Lungs and built on it tremendously, making for a large and bold album. Applying this change deemed a hit or miss for the band, and I don’t think they used it to the best of their ability.

 “Only If For a Night” is a dramatic opening, sounding like a dream sequence. The surrealist and symphonic sounds sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Shake It Out”, the first single from the record, is one of my favorites. I enjoy the upbeat and bold rhythm. It is a nice change from the slower and something draining songs the band is known for.

Ceremonials centers around dark and thrilling sounds, which is exemplified in the track “What The Water Gave Me”. The gospel organs give a chilling sound. It very folk-inspired with its vocal layering; Welch’s voice is softer and less intimidating for a change. Yet the record begins to lose steam with the latter half of the album, including “Never Let Me Go”, a song that seems to drag out forever. “No Light, No Light”, another draining record, doesn’t inspire me like other Florence + The Machine songs. I like the track, yet it is nothing special. I would save it for something to play in the background of a dramatic television show a la “Gossip Girl.”

“Breaking Down” picks up the speed, sounding like a song from the late 60’s. It more simple than the previous songs which was unexpected. The track is a moody take on classic surf-pop; I appreciate that lead singer Florence Welch isn’t shouting at the listener like most of her songs tend to do. My favorite track on the record “Seven Devils” definitely sounds like the devil himself infested this song. It is very soulful, evil, haunting and otherworldly. It is quite possibly the strongest track from the record.

Ceremonials begins with a strong fury, yet loses steam quickly as the songs begin to sound uncomfortably repetitive. How much longer could the band members stretch out the gothic/dark theme? With their debut album Lungs, the band dived into different sounds that all worked together to create a solid album. Yet with Ceremonials the one sound they seemingly got stuck on just became a bit exhausting.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Songs on Repeat

“What The Water Gave Me”

“Seven Devils”

Songs to Skip

“Never Let Me Go”

“Spectrum”

“Leave My Body”

Photo Courtesy of: Unbiased Writer

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