Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

Ceremonials by Florence & The Machine is the follow-up to her first album Lungs, and The mood of Florence Welch’s second album is set by the cover, on which she appears to be posing for a pre-Raphaelite artist.The mood of the disc inside, too, is also decidedly pre-Raphaelite: a gothic fever dream of romance, striving for intensity. Ceremonials always sounds wonderful – producer Paul Epworth has created a warm, sumptuous sound which is complimented by Welch’s powerful and emotive voice.

 This contrasts with Florence Welch’s previous album Lungs, which was written in the wake of a failed relationship, and reached number 1 in the album chart helped by some great singles like “Dog Days Are Over”, the lovesick anthem “Drumming Song” and the Candi Staton cover, “You’ve Got the Love”.  The album also helped Welch gain a diverse roster of fans including fashion designer Karl Lagerfield.

Florence herself is an exuberant person Lively, engaged, and good-humoured, too, and was signed up by Island Records  in November 2008. By the beginning of 2009, she’d won a Brit award,  for being the new year’s most promising artist.  Her first album Lungs, was subsequently released in July, and went on to sell more than 3 million copies. ( and I’ve got one of them)

But Whereas The last album sounded heady, wounded, raw and almost desperate at times. the second album is definitely more settled. Florence recently said of her second album That “It feels more joyous, but I wouldn’t say happily-ever-after. It’s not completely a case of ‘Everything’s fine, now!’ because everything’s still… Even if you’re in a relationship things are complicated. There’s probably lots of things to deal with.” this more settled sound is due in part to her being back with her chap. the villain of Lungs, with whom ahe patched things up not long after that album was released.

Florence said of her sound that she had experimented with many different types of music such as country and had also written and recorded some folky songs, but it wasn’t until she went into the studio that she knew she’d hit on a distinctive sound she loved which she describes as “big, tribal goth pop”.Welch she also says I’m more satisfied with this album than the last, “But I’m still nervous about it. You’re never completely happy, otherwise you wouldn’t ever make the next one.  This almost sounds like she’s anticipating retiring, Embracing the growing-up plan and settling down.  But Florence loves singing and  wouldn’t want to give it up and  hopes she  would be able to fit the rest of her life in at some point.” 

She also said Recently that she would love to appear on family science-fiction drama “Doctor Who”, after having really got into the programme  and become a “total geek” for the show since Matt Smith took over the role of The Doctor.  I reckon that  given the gothic feel to some of her promo videos  she could add a really gothic, spooky and creepy  atmosphere to the program which would be perfect and would soon have people hiding behind the sofa.

Having heard bits from the album, I think that  the best tracks  on the album are an introspective ballad called “Lover to Lover”, The single “What the Water Gave me”, an upbeat track called “Shake it out”, Only if for a night, No Light No Light, Heartlines, Spectrum and Never let Me Go. Here is the full track-listing

  • If only for a night
  •  Shake it out
  • What the Water Gave Me
  • Never let me go
  • Breaking down
  • Lover to lover
  • No Light, no light
  • Seven Devils
  • Heartlines
  • Spectrum
  • All this and heaven too
  • Leave my body

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