|Photo by: thpitch|
Key Tracks: "Only If For A Night," "Shake It Out," "Lover to Lover"
Ceremonials captures the same epic power singer Florence Welsh continuously throws in the faces of her devoted followers, but with a more mature and heroic feel. The album will leave you with a need to go into battle. Its powerful drumming and Welsh’s shining voice cry out for something: anything.
Ceremonials is far less catchy than Florence + the Machine's first studio album Lungs. It is not something you will find being performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, but then again maybe it will be another pleasant surprise after Welsh’s 2010 performance of "Dog Days Are Over" at this event. It is more of an experimentation of the power of Welsh’s voice and includes an array of out of the ordinary instruments. The album is filled with a lilting harp, dancing tambourines, sections of trance-inducing organ and a choir of beautiful backing vocals; all of which Florence + the Machine fans will readily embrace.
Florence + the Machine have really outdone themselves with this album. Each track breaks down multiple themes running throughout the album with huge musical power to back each up. Many songs highlight the intrinsic battles humans face and have always faced across time: the battle between good and evil. Welsh takes this fight and forms it into a magical journey through some imagined fairytale land.
The album is set in motion with "Only If for a Night" which seems to praise some unknown force. This intense, haunting track pulls listeners into Ceremonials and does not release them until the final track is finished.
The single "Shake It Out" begins delicately as if Welsh can barely get out the words to express herself, but as the drums set in she builds to a resilient cry against the devil. She cradles listeners with hope and comforts doubts and worries. This track also has a more enjoyable and lighter feel than Welsh’s usual life-questioning songs.
Welsh has always had the potential for producing some soulful hits. She turns on her Tina Turner-like vocals and lets them ring out over upbeat piano pounding and a hand-clapping beat in the song "Lover to Lover." This song is least like any other track on Ceremonials and also one of the most intense. She rallies together a projection of what seems like a hundred different voices all belonging to Welsh herself.
Every song on this album deserves some sort of write up but, alas, that would be far too much reading for our generation. That being said, Ceremonials is nice place to enjoy the “Florence experience.”
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