Florence + the Machine strikes back with Ceremonials

There are many things to love about Florence + the Machine; she takes advantage of her singing abilities to add world-class vocals to her music, writes everything, arranges the majority of her music, and really puts her quirky heart and soul into her everything (and you can feel it). 

The only way to compare her to anyone is by saying that her lyrics are as relatable and heart-felt as some find Adele’s. However, Florence + the Machine is just a bit under the mainstream bar, making it allowable for everyone (haters and hipsters alike) to listen to her music and experience the true power and depth found in her sophomore effort, Ceremonials.

Within the first couple seconds of turning on the album’s first track, “If Only For A Night,” I felt as if the music itself had driven me into having about 12 epiphanies one after another.  The arrangement of the song made it a great choice to open the album with.

The second song (and currently the second single), “Shake It Out,” is another anthemic tune featuring Florence Welch wailing an empowering chorus into the microphone. This inspirational track mimics the tale of someone who may have made a mistake or made a fool of themselves, to just shake it out and pick themselves back up and keep on going with their life.  This is personally my favorite track.

The third track of this album is called “What the Water Gave Me,” and has already served as the album’s debut single.  When listening to this song, I get an eerie feel that something is lurking or waiting.  The song eventually ends in a huge chorus, and despite it’s symbolic references, I found it somewhat boring.

For the most part, the album goes pretty much in that pattern; inspirational, anthemic, slow, inspirational, anthemic, and slow.  However, despite the consistent pattern of themes going on, I found each song different and able to hold up on its own.

Even though Florence + the Machine is labeled as “indie,” you can hear many sounds throughout Ceremonials.  Scattered throughout the LP is an array of strums from a harp (many played by Florence herself), tribal drum patterns, and steel guitar riffs.

One song towards the end that caught my attention (because of the sonic diversity) was “No Light, No Light”.  On the first listen I felt a little confused because I felt like they were placing a church choir on a spaceship during an intergalactic battle.  The message of this song is mainly that of “I don’t want or have to take your crap”.

Overall I like the album very much, maybe even more than her previous work.  When going through the whole track list you can find a diverse collection of work that I feel like is a complete work of art that one would be hard to find in today’s main stream.