Review: Florence + The Machine, Ceremonials

Music

I was apprehensive about Halloween this year. Not because of the ghosts and vampires, or because of having to dress up as one of them to get cheaper shots at bars, but because Florence and the Machine’s new album Ceremonials was released. Would the album be as ground-breaking as her debut offering Lungs? It turns out there was no need to worry; Ceremonials shows maturity, and Florence Welch clearly deserves to maintain her position at the top of the British music scene.

Even though most tracks last around five minutes, this is nothing to be afraid of. Listening to the album in one session is not monotonous. There are still the impressive vocals, the spell-binding melodies and the lyrics which evoke fairy tales. Each track ebbs and flows to create an eclectic mix of songs. Whilst Florence’s tribal influence is clearly present in ‘Heartlines’, ‘Breaking Down’ does showcase her ability to create mesmerising music.

‘What The Water Gave Me’ – the leading single from the album- epitomises this combination of haunting melody and imagery. It is evident that craft and dedication have been applied to each song on this record. Even though Florence sings in ‘Shake It Out’ that “I like to keep some things to myself”, this doesn’t seem to be the case with her musical talent.

Perhaps the album lacks some of the stripped down offerings of Lungs. There is no comparable track to Cosmic Love or I’m Not Calling You A Liar. This means that the treat of hearing Welch’s vocals accompanied by only a harp is all too rare. Apart from this, Ceremonials is definitely worth listening to.

4/5