Florence + The Machine / Ceremonials


Ceremonials

Florence and the Machine (stylised as Florence + the Machine)[1] is the recording name of English musician Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide backing music for her voice. Florence and the Machine’s sound has been described as a combination of various genres, including rock and soul.[2][3] The band’s music received praise across the music media, especially from the BBC, before they gained mainstream success. Specifically, the BBC played a large part in their rise to prominence by promoting Florence and the Machine as part of BBC Introducing.

The band’s debut album, Lungs, was released on 6 July 2009, and held the number-two position for its first five weeks on the UK Albums Chart.[4] On 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position, after being on the chart for twenty-eight consecutive weeks.[5] The album has been in the top forty in the United Kingdom for sixty-five consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010.

Lungs won the MasterCard British Album award at the 2010 BRIT Awards. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, Florence and the Machine was nominated for Best New Artist. Additionally, the band performed at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

The group’s second album Ceremonials released in October 2011 debuted strongly.

The Analysis:

Only If For A Night—-From the very first notes of the song and the entrance of the vocal, you know right away that Florence has no intention of letting fans down or delivering something that is too unpredictable….this voice is so strong…making me think of Siouxsie Sioux so much…the music is ethereal and contained with a nice haunt to it…this is just about perfect.

Shake It Out—-I love the lack of instrumental introduction on most of this release…the vocal just begins from the very first word. This is a bit more Bohemian…including some nice drums and tambourines with lyrics that are full of vivid imagery and thought-provoking words. the chorus is huge and powerful…I see her swirling all over the place in my minds eye….the new Nicks!!!

What The Water Gave Me—-This has a bit more of an intro, but quickly gives us what we want the most….the voice. The slight shaky quality and the powerful chorus makes for a natural lead off single…making me smile everytime I hear it….this is a bit more calm than most of the material on the debut release….but still as powerful and quirky! This is brilliant!!!!

Never Let Me Go—-Calm and with a nice ghostly feel, this is piano driven and really allows the spotlight to be on the voice of florence…..this is pretty remarkable from the word go. The chorus enters and takes you on a nice melancholy journey….just fantastic…the track leaves me cold…but manages to make me fuzzy and warm all over….!

Breaking Down—-I love good production and direction! This song is just different enough to keep you as the listener, very interested in the next thing to come along on the CD. This is upbeat and a bit synth driven….and I just love when Florence sings in that deeper alto vocal of hers….this is brilliant…..still!!!

Lover To Lover—-This is another of those tracks that gives you very little introduction before the voice enters the picture….there is a nice alt-sound that reminds me of Kate Bush or some other classic 80’s quirk band…I love this CD…who knew a sophomore release could be so fantastic!!!

No Light, No Light—-This is full of so many Annie Lennox sounds you get confused as to whom you are really listening to. This is orchestrated and HUGE….florence conjures up so many vivid thoughts and images…all through the power of the voice…you hear the moods and the MOVEMENTS and not even really the lyrics…just incredible!!!

Seven Devils—-Heavily piano driven with huge keyboards sounds, the song suffers a bit from the ‘sameness’ sound of most of the release…but the voice saves it from the mundane catagory…this is a bit boring for me…but still powerful as hell and with a fantastic chorus!

Heartlines—-Some really great drums and chants introduce this song and give me the change-up I have needed after the last few tracks. The voice flows and delivers on emotion right after the other…but it is the instrumentation on this track that really keeps me listening…this is fantastic!

Spectrum—-Returning to a more predictable sound, this is moody and full of atmosphere. Not that this is a bad thing….but perhaps too much of a good thing. I still love the ebb and flow of the emotion in the vocal and the way that the chorus comes ALIVE…just remarkable…..but still a bit of overkill. The backdrop vocals are fantastic though….

All This And Heaven Too—-This has a much more powerful sound to it….I love the drums and the slight driving force of the track…nice…..I’m not mad at ya…I could not ask for more from this release! The chorus of this track is just huge…provoling both tears and goosebumps….my hair is literally standing up!

Leave My Body—-Rounding out this release with a pretty epic closer, this is florence at her finest…delivering line after lines of epic words that rip your heart out and leave you lying on the floor. I don’t want your future, I don’t need your past……what a great line!!! This is nice…the huge chorus of backdrop vocals add so much to the song….just incredible.

**** 1/2 out of 5

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