Locnville

Locnville
Locnville

Monday, 12 December 2011

CD REVIEW! Florence + The Machine: Ceremonials

A lot can happen to a daydreaming girl in the world, and in the last few years, it's all happened for Florence. The debut album she dreamt up in her bedroom in South London burst into being and swept the planet, selling over three million copies, winning the coveted Brits 'Best Album' award and etching itself indelibly into the popular consciousness. Now she has been everywhere: the girl has seen the world and the world has seen the girl. And 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. “This is the first time I’ve made a record with a sort of overarching, cohesive sound” says Florence: “It’s a proper studio album in that sense: a group of songs that paint a unified picture of where I am in my life right now.” It’s certainly a very different thing this time around: making an album that you know a lot of people are anticipating” reflects Florence; “…but I’ve just tried to do what I would’ve done anyway. This one is a real attempt to just make exactly the kind of music I want to hear: dramatic and really huge and kind of spooky. I want it more than anything to have an overwhelming effect on the listener: I want it to make people feel something.” Feel something you irrefutably will. Far from being one of those sell-out-and-go-pop second records that so many promising new artists settle for, Ceremonials is a wholly more experimental and challenging body of work. “I wanted to push the aggression of the sound” Florence says; “Bigger drums, bigger bass sounds: as big and as powerful as we could go. We did much more experimenting this time with electronic sounds, but overall I think we’ve ended up with a more organic-sounding album. It’s a kind of organized chaos.”

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