It lacked the experimental qualities that Lungs embraced and exploited that shot Florence Welch into stardom.
Florence + the Machine – Ceremonials
Sing-to-your-soul kind of women empowering, gospel church music is Florence + the Machine’s follow-up album to their 2009 mega hit Lungs; Ceremonials displays the vocal superiority of lead singer Florence Welch and creative instrumentals of her band mates Robert Ackroyd, Christopher Lloyd Hayden, Isabella Summers, Tom Monger, and Mark Saunders. Welch’s vocals never ceases to amaze my ears with her soulful alto that makes one think of Southern gospel choirs. There is no arguing that Welch has got mad soul as a vocal artist and immensely creative and motivational lyrics.
Ceremonials, however, fell flat for me. It lacked the experimental qualities that Lungs embraced and exploited that shot Florence Welch into stardom. The whole album held a very churchy vibe with many tracks holding choir-like background vocals. Granted, Welch’s vocals hold true to the church choir realm, I felt like in Lungs she took many more risks with her vocals and instrumentals (listen to “Kiss with a Fist” or her hit song “Dog Days are Over” for a couple examples on what I mean). Although I must say certain songs do display the fantastic quality of musical performance I know of Florence + the Machine to display. Take “Spectrum” for instance that demands the listener to dance like a fool and shout along to the powerful lyrics.
Lungs also held a kind of angst that I feel like Ceremonials is greatly missing from it. Granted there are some fabulously spiritually pleasing and motivating songs like the second single from the album, Shake it Out. Overall, I felt like this album was trying too hard to be something it was not. Perhaps, it is also partly my fault for expecting magic from Florence + the Machine being that I am such a huge fan of Florence Welch’s majestic voice and her inspiring instrumentals that generally force the listener into a blind dancing craze.