Album Review: Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

“And I did cartwheels in your honour. Dancing on tiptoes; my own secret ceremonials”

Source: Google Images

When you first sit down and listen to Ceremonials, there is a blissful moment when you realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. You’ve been transported to some strange and wonderful dreamlike location; where ghosts roam the streets, lovers embrace and break into song, and Florence Welch looks down upon you from her majestic tree. There is no other place like it. You want to be there. You want to keep Florence in your pocket and have her sing you lullabies. Or maybe, that’s just me?

With the follow-up to their 2009 debut album, Lungs, Florence + The Machine (once again) present us with a dazzling and strong record we will be talking about endlessly. Songstress, Florence Welch, explores the deepest of emotion with intense poetic lyrics and her passionate, powerful voice. Alongside, The Machine create a vigorous performance, giving life to the each and every song.

Ceremonials is a delightful departure from her first album, combining the best bits and pieces from what we loved so much about Lungs, and fusing those with something new and original. Nothing is as you expect. This album is a seamless puzzle of varied styles of music and voices, perfectly pieced together.

Now this is usually the part where I tell you my favorite song. Right? Nope. Sorry, it’s not going to happen. I refuse to choose my favorite song on the record, because every time I think I’ve finally found the one, I go back, listen to the album again, and pick another song altogether. Since I am super-excited to hear what you think of Ceremonials, I’ll leave this extremely difficult decision up to you. Head down to the comments and write down your thoughts. I’ll see you there in a few.

Meanwhile, how about a track by track review?

Only If For a Night: Florence’s girlish giggle and a fluttering piano sequence set the stage for the Pop and R&B inspired twisted storybook fairytale. As the dominating chorus sounds, deep, rich vocals guide the way for the contrasting soaring voice Florence perfects. Ghosts filled dreams, graveyards, and handstands; echo’s line the strains of pounding bass and percussion. Twisting alternative and mainstream, Only If For a Night is a pleasant surprise. I found myself singing the striking chorus at random more than once this past week. It’s somewhat different from what we usually hear from Flo, but it worked in her favor.

Shake It Out: As the first ‘official’ single released to the awaiting public, I’m sure we all have indulged in countless hours praising and listening to Shake It Out. It’s an eargasm, let’s be honest. The number one recurring comment related to the tune consisted of one word; obsessed. We hear a Church organ sound as Florence’s angelic voice sings. “I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart.”  Oh so soon, thunderous drums accompany her and become this enormous celestial chorus. “Shake it out! Shake it out!” So you must, of course, shake it out.

What the Water Gave Me: It seems like forever since we got our first taste of Ceremonials, when fans were treated to a preview track. What the Water Gave Me, inspired by the death of Virginia Woolf, is one of the most remarkable songs selected for the album. It’s hard to accurately describe the character of the track. Lyrical beauty comes to mind. Florence’s voice remains soft and otherworldly for most, as the percussion swells, we hear the musical goddess reach up and trill her songbird vocals. “Lay me down. Let the only sound be the overflow. Pockets full of stones.” A mix of alternative and folk, What the Water Gave Me is flawlessly conducted.

Source: Google Images

Never Let Me Go: This soulful ballad can only be described as beautiful comfort; as if lying in a warm, luxurious bed, being sung to sleep by Florence herself. Beautiful stunning vocals reach out and caress, while you hear the gentle chant of “Never let me go.” Symbolic, lyrical refrains speak of regret and love; finding that place where you belong – in someone else’s arms. “And the arms of the ocean are carrying me, and all this devotion was rushing over me. And the crashes are heaven, for a sinner like me, but the arms of the ocean delivered me.” This song will stay with you, long after the music ends. It is one of the most stunning songs I’ve heard in a long while.

Breaking Down: Contrasting the booming voice we usually hear from Florence, breathy vocals influence the 80’s flashback tune, Breaking Down. Within also lies piano and harpsichord melodies amongst the signature 80’s Brit drumbeat. Now it took me a while to get used to, I admit. Though, the more time I spent listening, plus time spent deconstructing the lyrics, the more I couldn’t deny the appeal. Florence describes loneliness like a distorted poetic story, fearing what comes next. “I can see it coming from the edge of the room, creeping in the street light, holding my hand in the pale gloom. Can you see it coming now?” This track deserves multiple listens to fully understand the song’s intentions.

Lover to Lover: I can’t get enough of this Blues and 60’s style infused tune that feels like a street corner sing-song. With Florence’s signature powerhouse vocals, the song demonstrates another soulful performance from the singer. The repeating refrain is more than just a catchy hook and it’s hard not to immediately fall in love with the piano melody that brings this song to life. “Road to road. Bed to bed. Lover to lover.”

No Light, No Light: I will easily admit that the first time I heard this song (prior to the album release), I had the entirety of the lyrics memorized within an hour. I think this song was on repeat for at least a couple of hours a day, everyday, for a little under a week. Needless to say, it was an instant favorite. Beginning with a lively incoming drumbeat, the epic opening is released and followed by the soft and rough voice of Florence. The song hardly transitions from her lost and pleading voice to the magnetic choir voicing the thunderous “No light, no light in your bright blue eyes, and continues to the main event. “You want a revelation. You want to get it right. But it’s a conversation I just can’t have tonight. You want a revelation, some kind of resolution.” This is just one of the many highlights on the album.

Seven Devils: Gothic and dark, Seven Devils is a theatrical masterpiece that Florence sings the heck out of. The haunting song is a slow and melodic. The persistent, hypnotic piano can be heard even as the symphony of voices sing out. “Now all your lies will be exorcised. And we will find your sayings to be paradox. And it’s an even sum. It’s a melody. It’s a battle cry. It’s a symphony.” Florence’s vocals are truly extraordinary as the song plays out. As the moonlit night sets the stage for this ghostly folktale, Seven Devils is the darkest track on the record, but thrilling and distinct.

Source: Google Images

Heartlines: I don’t think I have ever wanted to give an actual song a hug before, until now. With a surprising mix of swing and tribal musical patterns, the empowering Heartlines demonstrates an anthem-like chorus. Fierce drums, horns, and ethereal background vocals. Florence belts out, “Just keep following the heartlines on your hand. Keep it up. I know you can. ‘Cause I am.” The song is insanely spectacular. No joking. Worthy to be blasted from stereo speakers, Heartlines will have you reaching your hand out to the heavens and singing along in no time.

Spectrum: From an eerie introduction, to a jovial disco dance-track, to a classical finish, Spectrum is an illuminating addition to the album. The Machine provide a relentless drumbeat, while Florence’s vocals take center stage. Her haunting voice rips through as she commands, “Say my name.Our old friend, the harp, strengthens the brightened mood and closes the tale. There can be no doubt that this danceable tune is an unapologetic girl-power anthem earworm. You have been warned. “Say my name as every color illuminates. We are shinning and we’ll never be afraid again.”

All This and Heaven Too: “The words are all escaping me, coming back all damaged. I would put them back in poetry, if I only knew how.” In one of the most poetical and lyrical tracks on the album, Florence cries out to understand what we all question: love. “And the heart is hard to translate, it has a language of its own. It talks in tongues and quiet sighs and prayers and proclamations.” The song emanates a sweet and familiar feeling. A song to cherish and attentively pay apt attention to the words Florence writes. 

Leave My Body: Dark and edgy. Jazz and gospel. Leave My Body is a sway worthy epic that will leave a permanent mark on you. It’s easy to clap your hands and sing rather loudly (You know you did) with the gospel styled chorus; speaking of leaving everything behind – changing for a brighter future. “I’m gonna leave my body (moving up to higher ground). I’m gonna lose my mind (my history keeps pulling me, pulling me down).” The track ensures an immediate instant replay and closes the awe-inspiring record.

Remain Nameless: The first bonus track on Ceremonials, Remain Nameless takes us to unfamiliar territory. On this new journey, we hear the thrum and thump of an electric beat – something we’ve never quite heard from Florence + The Machine before. The soft and slow steady rhythm is smooth. The vocals are clear. They call out to the listener, almost like a hymn, as Florence and the myriad of voices repeat “Call me when you need me. Darling believe me.” That has to be my favorite part of the electric tune. It’s somewhat irresistible to not sing along with the continued refrain as the solitary voices sing, then as the music expands. Remain Nameless will be a notable surprise for all of you avid fans out there.

Strangeness & Charm: After hearing the live recording of this song months ago, I was so excited to finally hear the studio version in all its glory. And I must say, it does not disappoint. Both recordings have something different and unique about them, and now that I’ve heard both, I can appreciate the subtle and not so subtle differences between the two. This studio version brings with it a new depth and a slightly faster beat. There is almost an electric quality to it as well. I just want to rock it out every time I hear this song. “The static on your arms it is the catalyst, for the chemical it burns. There is nothing like this. It’s the purest element, but it’s so volatile. An equation heaven-sent, that you’ll forever inject strangeness and charm.”

Bedroom Hymns: Currently, I seem to have an inability to stop listening to Bedroom Hymns. Contagious is one word I would use to describe this song. I can’t seem to stop the smile on my face that appears every time I hear the sexy and tribal influenced sounds. Religious and sexual overtones occupy the tantalizing lyrics. “This is his body. This is his love. Such selfish prayers and I can’t get enough.” Hand claps. The clack of the drum. The chorus’ memorable and singable ‘Oh’s.’ I dare you not to fall in love with Florence’s Bedroom Hymns.

Album Rating: A+

To purchase your very own copy of Ceremonials visit iTunes HERE

For more Florence + The Machine visit their official website HERE

What did you think of Ceremonials? Love it? Obsessed with it? What’s your favorite track on the record? What’s your favorite Florence + The Machine song? Tell me in the comments!

For more Kim the FanGirl follow the blog on Twitter @kimthefangirl and on Facebook

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144 Comments Add yours

  1. setinmotion says:

    This album is amazing! I’ll be honest, when I first listened to it I was a bit displeased because I was getting a very Lungs-vibe (not that Lungs was crap, quite the opposite in fact, I just wanted something new) but then as I listened to it more I learned to love it more and more!
    My first favourite was definitely Never Let Me Down, because its a little bit sad and I was a little bit sad when I first heard the album, but since then If Only For The Night, No Light, No Light and All This and Heaven Too have become my favourites 🙂

    There’s something haunting about If Only For The Night isn’t there? It’s like she’s craving something but she can’t obtain it, so then you’re craving something and there’s this sense of longing…

    And I just love All This and Heaven Too cause it seems like a really romantic song to me. She’s saying that she’s in love, but even though she doesn’t know how to say it she going to try anyway. Nawww..

    Thoughts?

    1. Yes, yes, and yes. It actually took a couple of listens for me to really love ‘Only If For a Night.’ At first it seemed too mainstream, but then it kind of seeped in and took over. I can’t stop listening to it. I love your description of it. I completely agree.

      Oh, how I love ‘All This and Heaven Too.’ It’s just this sweet song and the lyrics are so relatable, and on-point. Lyrically, it’s one of the best on the album.

      I’m completely obsessed with ‘No Light.’ Arg! I love it so much (Haha. I think I have a problem). I’m slowly, but surely, believing Ceremonials is the best out of the two albums. Exhibit 1: ‘Never Let Me Go.’ Exhibit 2: ‘Shake It Out.’ I think we should all just give Florence a hug to thank her for this awesomeness. What do you think? Are you with me? Lol.

  2. setinmotion says:

    DEFINITELY with you! Don’t get my wrong, Lungs was amazing, but there were a few songs on it that I didn’t like (Kiss with a fist? Ugh) but so far on this album I can listen to all of this, and let’s be honest, I can listen to a lot of them…on repeat. Hahaha.

    Might I add I added this album to my itunes at the same time as the new Coldplay album. Poor Coldplay is definitely not getting as many hits…

  3. Fantastic, fabulous Florence! And a GREAT indepth analysis on Ceremonials!!!!!! Shake it Out is my favourite so far….

    1. Thank you! Yes, I think it’s truly impossible to not love ‘Shake It Out.’ I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it since it was first released. I’m sure many more listens are on their way, as well. 🙂

  4. couturerin says:

    LOVELOVELOVE this album. In fact listening to it right now. I couldn’t agree more that each time I listen to the album, there is a new favorite song. This entire album seems darker, BUT I LOVE that. Seven Devils is dark and moody but so daunting and spectacular the way she sings it!

    1. Haha! I’m listening to it right now too. I think ‘Seven Devils’ is actually one of her best vocals on the entire album. The song is almost hypnotic.

  5. Jacqueline says:

    Love Florence and the Machine, especially “Dog Days are Over!”

    1. That’s one of my favorite songs too! 🙂

  6. I’m SO in love with this album I’ve blogged about it a ton because it’s so amazing but you do a FANTASTIC job of explaining it beautifully 🙂 Thank you for sharing with everyone the amazing-ness of this album!

    1. No, thank YOU for reading and for such a nice comment. I’m in the same boat as you. I am absolutely in love with this album too. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve listened to it since it’s been released.

  7. Liz says:

    Florence Welch is just incredible, so talented. I loved Lungs and while I haven’t gotten the chance to listen to all of Ceremonials the stuff I have heard is brilliant. Great post, listening to Ceremonials in entirety has been bumped to the top of my to-do list!

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, go and get it right now. That’s an order. Lol. You will not be disappointed 🙂

  8. I can’t wait to get my copy of ‘Ceremonials.’ I loved ‘Lungs’ for that very ethereal, soulful tonal quality that Florence + The Machine imbues. It’s comforting to know that they have built upon the best aspects of the first album for the new album! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thank you for commenting 🙂 ‘Ceremonials’ has that same tone. It’s actually somewhat heightened. The album is absolutely beautiful. I’m sure you’ll love it.

  9. vivalasummer says:

    Awesome review! I love this blog!! I feel like I’ve discovered my nerd counter-part if that makes sense. Following you for sure, thanks for posting 🙂

    1. Thank you! Thank you! I’m so glad you like it. Haha! It does make sense. Welcome and I hope to see you around again in the comments. 🙂

  10. larosson says:

    When I was at university, Florence’s mum was one of my lecturers and she was a Renaissance Italian art scholar whose work occasionally spilled over into the Literature dept. You can really see how her family’s academic side has influenced Florence’s work. The literary references, the evocative imagery, the way the music and lyrics are particularly artistic compared to some of her contemporaries…

    I’m so glad this record didn’t disappoint. It had big shoes to fill, but it’s just brilliant. Seven Devils, Heartlines, What the Water Gave Me, Shake It Out are classic. Bedroom Hymns and Leave My Body destroy me.

    1. That’s so awesome! Yes, you can definitely see all the literary references in her work. I love the intense imagery in the lyrics too. I agree, Florence is one of the most unique and artistic artists around today. Her music is so powerful and compelling.

      “Bedroom Hymns and Leave My Body destroy me.” Agreed! Lol.

  11. juliacastorp says:

    it is a beautiful album

  12. Great review, love the track-by-track. I agree, it’s hard to pick a favorite. I wanted to pick one so I could write a SOTD post, but it was so hard! I finally decided on “All This and Heaven Too,” but the entire album is gorgeous. Such an addictive mix of dark & gothic & exuberance.

    -Dani

    1. Thank you! After a week, I STILL can’t pick a favorite. I agree, the album is definitely addictive. Can’t. Stop. Listening. Haha!

  13. abichica says:

    Amazing!! I really love the post.. 🙂

    1. Thank you so, so much. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  14. workingonthemindbodyandspirit says:

    I love Florenc + The Machine. I am somewhat new to her music, but now I can say I am a huge fan. Great post!

  15. Excellent review! Florence is AMAZING! Thanks for such attention to detail.

    1. Thank you! There was so much to say about this album, it was impossible not to go into so much detail. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  16. be awake says:

    my favorite band! i’m going to have a trip to a music store 🙂

    1. Florence + The Machine is one (if not my #1) favorite band too. Yes, ‘Ceremonials’ is definitely a must buy. I’m sure you will love it!

  17. fabiola0 says:

    i love this album way more than lungs ❤

    1. I agree. ‘Ceremonials’ is surely becoming my favorite album out of the two. It’s just . . . fantastic.

  18. I cannot stop listening to Seven Devils; it’s so hauntingly beautiful!

    1. It’s definitely one of my favorites too. Florence’s vocals are downright amazing. Love that song. 🙂

  19. gwwatsons says:

    Great post and excellent review on this band. Good job with your blog, very informative. If you enjoy music please check out my blog on alternative music from around the world
    http://alternativeworldspin.wordpress.com/

    1. Thank you! I will definitely check out your blog. I absolutely love alternative music. 🙂

  20. I’ve just seen 2 days ago (on a masterclass by the cinematographer Christopher Doyle), the 2nd videoclip to be released from this new album.
    It’s still a work in progress but I loved the song, don’t know which one was it!
    Action takes place with Florence in the top of a building and she will fall from the sky into a church were some young kids sing in chorus.

    1. I remember hearing that her new video was for ‘No Light, No Light.’ From what you described, I’m sure it’s going to be amazing. Of course, this is Florence + The Machine we’re talking about. Lol.

  21. Carlie Chew says:

    I love Florence and the Machine, I can’t wait to check out this new album. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for commenting! I hope you like the album. 🙂

  22. Ashly Kissman says:

    Great Review!!!! I like how you reviewed it song by song. I have never seen anyone do that before. I too am in love with the new album. I have the track “Shake It Out” on repeat right now lol

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it. I don’t how you can review ‘Ceremonials’ and not go track by track, there is so much to say about every song. Haha! I’ve had ‘Shake It Out’ on repeat for a month. 🙂

  23. TheBlueMorpho says:

    I blare “Shake It Out” in my bedroom. There’s just something about that song…I just cant put my finger on it. And I loved singing to “What the Water Gave Me” when it first came out. I was sort of in a bad place at the time, and that song was like a pierce to the heart. You could feel the sadness of a watery death. Sung so well! My favorite on her last album was “Cosmic Love.” That’s how I first fell in love with her music. I didnt like “Dog Days are Over,” to be honest. I put her new CD on my Christmas List! 🙂

    1. If you liked ‘Shake It Out,’ and “What the Water Gave Me,’ I’m sure you will love the entirety of ‘Ceremonials.’ It’s amazing. I quite possibly think it’s better than ‘Lungs’. I hope you get it! Lol.

  24. moneymakingjus says:

    I love that album>>>>>> Great review!!!!

  25. Guan says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you – it’s the best album by any artist I’ve heard (since Lungs!). Really like your blow by blow review of the album. Spectrum is my personal favourite, but there are so many anthems. Was lucky enough to catch her live at the Hackney Empire launch show and been listening to the album every day on loop ever since!

    1. Thank you!! I’m glad you liked my review. I agree, it’s the best album I’ve heard all year. I’m so jealous you got to see her live. I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I’m hoping to resolve that . . . soon. Lol. Me too! I can’t stop listening to it. 🙂

  26. shnatiak1 says:

    This album is A-MAZING!!!! I had bought it, loved it from the very beginning, and now, Ceremonials is all I listen to. I had tried to pick a favorite, but, it is very hard. The ones that I had listened for over a hundred times already would be Only If For A Night, No Light, No Light, Seven Devils, Heartlines and Bedroom Hymns. I loved reading your review for this album, it has given me a lot to think about, and after reading, I went on my iTunes, and started listening to them all over again.
    To me, it feels like, a transition, from Lungs to Ceremonials, and, it’s like, a good transition.
    I am, and always will be, a big fan of Florence + the Machine!

    1. Thank you so, so much! I have to agree with you completely, those are the songs that are on constant repeat for me too. Yes, it does feel like a natural progression from ‘Lungs,’ to this new album. I can’t wait to hear how Florence’s next album and sound progress from here. It’s going to be interesting. 🙂

      1. shnatiak1 says:

        I will have to be totally honest with you here. I’m a very picky person when it comes to music, like, a really picky person. When their Lungs album had came out, I doubted I would like it. I only listened to Dog Days Are Over, and that was the only song I liked. European music always tended to push me away, I don’t know why. But, I bought the album, and one day, I forgot to put it on repeat, and the other songs started to play, and I didn’t even notice, and when I did, I was in love. Next thing I knew, I was dancing in my room like a crazy person. Everyone thought I was weird for dancing to that music, but I was happy. =D I believe, without a doubt, that Florence + The Machine will help me through all the hard times. =D

        1. I know exactly what you mean. Everytime I feel down, the only thing that makes me feel better is Florence + The Machine. It’s the only solution. Their music just does great things for the soul.

  27. blogattack says:

    Wow, thanks to WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed”, I may have just found my new best friend. Seriously, this is one of the BEST album reviews I have EVER read (no hyperbole, I mean it!) Not to mention, you reviewed one of my favorite artists and an album with which I am in love. THANK YOU!

    1. Thank YOU! Thank you so, so much for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed my review. 🙂 What’s your favorite song on the album?

  28. I have been hooked on Florence since I first heard “The Drumming Song.” Great review!

    1. Thank you! ‘Drumming Song’ is one of my all-time favorites too.

  29. I first heard of Florence when I heard her remake of “Addicted to love,” and I have been in love ever since. I went out and got her album “Lungs” as soon as I heard “Cosmic Love.” I was mad that the album I got didn’t have “A few of my favorite songs, so I went out a got the Delux album as soon as it came out. I am not at all let down by this album. Although bothe were very whimsical, this album is darker…more earthy if that makes any sense.

    Anyhoo, I have it on constant replay. ❤ it!

    1. I did the same thing. I just had to get the deluxe version of ‘Lungs’ when it came out. ‘Bird Song’ is still one of my favorites to this day. I agree, this album more than exceeded my expectations. It’s darker, but it’s also more personal, I think.

      1. “Bird Song” is epic!!! Short annd simple but somehow so amazing and you can’t forget it. Oh and I loved loved loved her performance on the “X Factor.” I only watched it for her & she was amazing!!

  30. ireney128 says:

    I love Florence! I’m downloading this new album as I type!! Can’t wait to hear it!

    1. Yay! I’m sure you’ll love it. 🙂

  31. seabeegirl says:

    Love, love, love Florence + the Machine!

    1. Have you listened to the new album yet?

  32. dana says:

    I love this album! Great post!

    woodstockwardrobe.com

  33. Chrissiemusa says:

    I totally agree with your review of this album it’s one of my absolute favourites at the moment. With regards to favourite songs I have too many on the album to select from because they are all so incredibly beautiful and you were right about how you can like one song one moment and then enjoy another ever more in the next. It’s just a fabolous album and for people who loved Lungs than Ceremonials is definitely just as good. The lyrics are spectacular and I completely agree with the whole taking-you-into-another-world thing 🙂 Great review!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my review. 🙂 Yeah, a week in and I still can’t choose my favorite track. It’s almost impossible, every song is spectacular. *Sigh* Oh, well. I’ll just have to listen to the album again. Lol.

  34. djronstar says:

    What a great album for sure
    Cheers,
    -Ron
    http://www.learntobeatmatch.ca

  35. setinmotion says:

    YAYAYYAAYAY! Totally saw this on the homepage. Remember me when you’re famous…

    1. Hahaha!! Don’t worry, Hannah. You’ll still be my blog BFF. 🙂

  36. Lovely review. I just go tmy album in the mail and haven’t stopped listening to it. Love all her songs, she is such a powerhouse. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  37. I have only caught snippets of this album on the radio, but what I have heard I have really enjoyed. I loved the first album. This one is definitely going on my Christmas list. Thanks for the review.

    1. Thank you for commenting!

  38. Review was dead on. Freshly Pressed brought me here

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. That’s great. 🙂

  39. drwebs says:

    love Florence + The Machine, thank you for this write up.

    1. Thank you for commenting!!

  40. conordcfc says:

    Awesome review and surprisingly good album! Very impressed with it and really expands upon the sound of ‘Lungs’, currently writing my own review so appreciate the effort it takes, congrats!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I would love to read your review when you post it. 🙂

  41. It’s a good album – will definitely need some more time to “sink in” to the music though! “My Boy Builds Coffins” Live, from the iTunes Live Festival 2008 is the best I’ve heard from Florence and The Machine. E.v.e.r.

    1. She does have some of the best live recordings I’ve ever heard. I can’t wait until we get to hear some from this album.

  42. this album was genius! while listening to Lungs, i was like “what if she progressed her music in these directions?”. and i got my answer in Ceremonials. Another near-masterpiece by Florence Welch ❤

    1. Genius and masterpiece? I think that accurately describes ‘Ceremonials.’ Lol. 🙂

  43. jhymy says:

    very good review of an equally exceptional album….florence+ the machine are incredible

  44. jaz-amber says:

    I am LOVING the new album… I have developed a slight Florence obsession! ❤

    1. After listening to the album, my obsession has gone from major to full-blown. Lol. 🙂

  45. Aromamuse says:

    Great review for a great album; thanks! Love your blog, BTW 😉

  46. Wow, you’ve pretty much summed up all my own feelings about this amazing, obsessive, beautiful album.

    Current favourites? They change every time I listen. At the moment it’s probably a toss up between: Strangeness and Charm, What the Water Gave Me, No Light No Light or Never Let Me Go.

    …but obviously that’s likely to change when I go back and listen again now!

    1. Haha! I’m the same way. At one moment, I think I have my top favorites, then I listen to the album again, and it changes. It’s a cruel cycle, but my ears are loving all this Flo time. Lol.

  47. stivensdom says:

    It’s not only you… =)

    1. Haha! Good to know. 🙂

  48. dulinwen14 says:

    Thank you for the very detailed synopsis of every song. It just makes me want to get it as i type! As a soprano I appreciate Florence’s voice and melodic tunes with different instruments. She takes me to a different level that many artist cannot achieve. Normally with sophomore albums it can be a hit or miss, but Florence + the Machine’s debut of “Shake It Out” proves that they are here to stay. Again Kim, thanks for the review. 🙂

    1. Thank YOU for reading it! 🙂

  49. iamkaja says:

    I absolutely agree with your thought to give Heartlines a hug, I felt exactly the same!
    Seven Devils is indeed the darkest track on the record; admittedly, it took me a while to warm up to it but after a few listens, I thought, “Hey, the heavy darkness of this is amazing!”.
    No Light, No Light = instafavourite, no question about it. I’ve listened to it days on end and each time I discover something new about it, a new meaning or something that stands out!

    This is a fantastic album, thanks for sharing your thoughts track by track! I wish I owned the extended version of it however, mine ends at leave My Body 😦

    1. Oh, you definitely have to get the songs on the deluxe version. It is definitely worth it. Trust me. 🙂

      Yay! More hugs for ‘Heartlines.’ Florence will be happy. Lol.

  50. What a beautiful and perfectly written review.The album is absolutely amazing indeed 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! I’m glad you liked the review . . . and the album. Lol.

  51. Isabella Kuijers says:

    they always have such an incredible aesthetic. nice article!

  52. Katie Rogers says:

    This is one of my favortie albums ever! It is so beautiful and I think my favorites off it are Never Let Me Go, Only if For a Night, and Shake it Out. I think she set the bar with Lungs, and Ceremonials does not disappoint.

    1. I completely agree with everything you said. It makes me wonder how Florence is going to top this, but I have no doubt she will. 🙂

  53. Sara Ahsan says:

    I have never listened to Florence and The Machine before, but then I read this post and decided, out of nowhere, just picked “Never Let Me Go” and listened to it. It was beautiful, amazing! Exactly the kind of music I love! And I immediately bought the song! I’m sure gonna buy this beautiful album!

    1. Oh, wow. That is fantastic! I’m so happy you found Florence + The Machine’s music and loved it. And finding out about them here? Well, that’s just an added bonus. Lol. 🙂

  54. Wow I love Florence + The Machine and this post literally made me so excited to buy the new CD!! Great explanations 🙂

    1. Thanks so, so much! Yes, go and buy it, then tell me what you think. 😉

  55. afroblush says:

    I completely loved the album to, very “winter wedding and enchanted”, this is a great review, such detail. Thanks and well done for getting Freshly Pressed x

  56. Thumbs up for detailed review. I consider this to be the best album of the year. I’ll be soon posting short review on my blog.

    All the best 😉

    1. I think it’s the best album of the year too. Hands-down.

      Thank you!

  57. TheChronicR says:

    I agree with you totally. Florence, and all her songs, are amazing! She is out of this world. I’m personally a big fan of her art and reviewed this album on my blog too. Gave it a 10/10!

    Also, kudos to you for getting on Freshly Pressed AND answering every single comment on your article. I find it an unbelievably rare and beautiful/caring thing to do. It means that you care about your readers and don’t take them for granted. Appreciate that!

    Thank you so much. xx

    1. Wow. Thank YOU for all your kind words. I really appreciate it. 🙂 And I’m definitely going to check out your review too. I love to hear what others think of the album as well.

      1. TheChronicR says:

        Why my pleasure. I’m glad you’re flattered!

        Thanks — in case you really want to read it it’s here — http://thechronicr.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/album-review-ceremonials-florence-the-machine-2/

        Take care and best wishes. xx

  58. Ahh, Florence and the Machine’s new album is outstanding. I love it! I am so glad she isn’t going to have a sophomore slump. I was a little unimpressed by the single, but the album itself makes up for it. She is so talented and keeps out doing herself. Lyrically and melodically I am in love with “Shake it Out”. I find myself randomly humming to it. I’m glad that Florence didn’t try to deviate to much from her spectacular music that previously existed. She is great and i’m glad people are enjoying the album! By the Way, that for your great review!

    1. Thank you!

      I was so impressed with the album too. ‘Ceremonials’ is classic Florence, but incorporates something new and interesting. It’s the best of both worlds. Lol. I also find myself randomly singing ‘Shake It Out’ (and probably most of the album) all the time too. I can’t help myself. 🙂

  59. I love Florence. Thanks for in depth review of the new album. I can’t wait to get it.

    1. If you love Florence, I’m positive you’ll love the album 🙂

  60. conordcfc says:

    Awesome review, love the in-depth analysis of each song, and am in agreement with pretty much everything, you deserve every success as a writer too. I’d be very grateful if you could check out my review! Thanks! http://conordcfc.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/music-album-review-florence-the-machine-ceremonials/

    1. Thank you!!! And thanks for the link. I’d love to read your review. 🙂

  61. Will Middlebrook says:

    Good review. I will have to check out the album now. I really only know florence because of “Dog Days Are Over,” but I am always up for new good music! I heard “What the Water Gave Me” and I wasn’t immediately impressed by it… maybe it is a grower though. I liked “Shake it Out” immediately though. Check out my site review site if you get a chance!

    http://bestofthebunch.wordpress.com/

    1. Thank you. If you really liked ‘Shake It Out,’ I hope you’ll listen to the entire album. There a couple of songs with the same style that I’m sure you’ll like.

      Of course, I’ll check out your site. 🙂

  62. Listening to a Florence album is like being in a different world. You’re spot on! Thanks for the post.

    1. You’re welcome. Lol. 🙂

  63. a1ring23 says:

    Excellent review, excellent album. I love how Florence’s voice fills the album so well, makes it seem so atmospheric and powerful. Cheers.

    1. I completely agree. Not only does it feel like you’re in a completely different world, but it’s raw and emotional. There is so much life to the album.

  64. Music Sumo says:

    Nice review! Very thorough. I can’t wait to check out more of your music posts.

  65. Great review. I am a huge Florence + the Machine fan, though I haven’t quite warmed up to Ceremonials yet (although there are some beautiful gems on there!). I just bought tickets to see her here in Paris in March. I simply cannot wait. Am looking forward to your music updates!

    1. Thank you!

      You’re so lucky to get to see her live. I missed her when she came to the states earlier this year. I definitely recommend listening to the entire album again, though. I’m positive you’ll love it a little more, every time you hear it. 🙂

  66. guitareste says:

    This is an impressive review. It’s great that you go through each song!

  67. Zee says:

    Reblogged this on 呀!.

  68. ozpom96 says:

    Great interview! Only a fangirl could go into such depth, and I always feel happy when I see someone so passionate about a musician as I often am. I too have written a review for Ceremonials, http://ozpom96.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/review-florence-the-machine-ceremonials/

    1. Thank you so very much. Over the past couple of years, Florence has really become one of my favorite artists of all time, so it’s easy to FanGirl over her music. Lol. What’s your favorite song on the album?

      I’m definitely going to check out your review!

      1. ozpom96 says:

        GAH, such a hard question! I can never pick one favourite for anything, but I’ve narrowed it down to three. Shake It Out is stunning, what more can I say? Never Let Me Go is just beautiful. Something about the emotion in it just clicked inside of me, and I am readily reduced to tears when I hear it. Then Lover Lover’s energy is just fantastic, and I feel like I’m at a cabaret when I hear it. My favourites will surely change soon enough.
        I have to admit I’m not a long time fangirl, though I have known of Flo for a while. I listened to Lungs when the promotion for Ceremonials began, and almost instantly loved her. I keep forgetting my obsession has only spanned a few monthes, as I feel like an old fan.

        1. Yeah, almost three months and I still can’t pick a definitive favorite either. “No Light, No Light,” and “Shake It Out,” are probably the ones that are in the running, but I still can’t decide.

          Obsession seems to be the word when it concerns Florence + The Machine. I know I’m obsessed. Lol. 🙂

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