I know I’m a bit late in reviewing Florence + The Machine’s new album, Ceremonials, but I feel like I just needed a bit of time to sit back and digest it, like a four-course meal with coffee.
As with the band’s first album, Lungs, released all the way back in 2009, I have felt differently about each song on each consecutive listen.
To be honest, it’s been so long since Lungs was released, that when I heard that Ceremonials would be released in October 2011, it was not an excitable ‘Eeee!’ that I made, but actually a sigh of relief.
But can Florence + The Machine truly top Lungs? Let’s see.
The first noticeable difference between Ceremonials and Lungs is that the new album is distinctly more soulful, gospel, even church-like.
In the past, the band has often been described as the modern platform that combines Rock and Soul, but this new collection of 15 tracks goes so much deeper; it rips out the emotion of heartache and smears its ugly self all over the window for everyone to see.
Florence Welch’s emotional, entrancing vocals mesh with the dominating percussion and twinkly strings like they were made to be as one. There’s something quite dark about her lonely lyrics coupled with the repetitive bass line that enables the natural brunette (not redhead, but we’ll let her off) nails desperation on the head with every word.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. An optimistic gospel theme runs throughout the album, looking to the future and showing strength to get through the hard times.
But let’s be honest, after Lungs’ overwhelming popularity landing the band several world tours, it’s no wonder that Ceremonials went to Number 1 in the UK and Number 6 in the US Chart in its first week of release.
I’m glad I waited to write this review. I’ve had time to absorb Ceremonials like a sponge and reflect on how it feels. It’s different on every listen; and is definitely one of those rare musical selections that is both a show-er and grower.
And I think it’s rather apt that I’ve delayed this review. As it took Florence + The Machine so long to put together a new album; maybe they just needed to digest it first.
Ceremonials can be bought for £7.99.