Ceremonials Standard

Florence And The Machine

Ceremonials Standard
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Ceremonials Standard

Florence And The Machine

After months of laying low on home turf, writing and recording in the London she’s long been in love with, Florence returns with her triumphant second album. Ceremonials is a stunningly accomplished record by an artist teetering on the wind-blown top of her game, an extraordinary testament to what Florence refers to as “my incorrigible maximalism”. The pounding epiphanic positivism of ‘Spectrum’; the galloping massed-ranks majesty of ‘All This And Heaven Too’ and ‘Shake It Out’; the triumphant emotional battle cries of ‘No Light No Light’ and ‘Heartlines’. Spend a little time with Ceremonials and what strikes you first and foremost is the apparent confidence of its execution.

Recorded with her full band over five weeks this summer in Abbey Road’s legendary Studio 3, ‘Ceremonials’ is another product of her long-running collaboration with producer Paul Epworth. Together they’ve created an expansive art-pop vision that can be both captivatingly tender while still frequently soaring to places where it can overwhelm the senses like an emotive tidal wave. It’s a rich tapestry that unpicks the conventions of classic pop, shoots them through a black hole and reconstitutes them into a multi-layered, future-primitive stomp. And underpinning it all, Florence’s beguiling, epic vocals. A mature masterpiece that confirms its creator is in for the long haul.

  1. Only If For A Night
  2. Shake It Out
  3. What The Water Gave Me
  4. Never Let Me Go
  5. Breaking Down
  6. Lover To Lover
  7. No Light, No Light
  8. Seven Devils
  9. Heartlines
  10. Spectrum
  11. All This And Heaven Too
  12. Leave My Body

Review

Few can bust out a torch song as well as Florence and her accompanying Machine – her voice rings with as much passion as her hair colour. After taking over the world with 2009’s Lungs, she returns with Ceremonials, and upon its release millions of people worldwide will be miming the swelling lead track Shake It Out into their hairbrushes within three days, or staring introspectively out the window to What the Water Gave Me. It’s goosebump-inducing pop, hard not to enjoy, its instrumental backdrops the perfect canvas for Florence, otherworldly in scope and fervour.

Fiona Hardy is from Readings Carlton

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