Ceremonials - (Import CD)

Florence & the Machi

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Categories
PopMusic
Category
  1. Performer
  2. Rock & Pop
  3. Alternative
Performer
Florence + the Machine
Format
CD
Producer
Paul Epworth
Title
Ceremonials
Country
USA
Notes

Personnel: Florence Welch (vocals); Rob Ackroyd (guitar); Tom Monger (harp); Christopher Lloyd Hayden (drums).
Liner Note Author: Emma Forrest.
Recording information: Abbey Road; Wolf Tone Studios, London.
Photographer: Tom Beard.
There's a point just past the halfway mark on "Shake It Out," the rousing first single from Florence + the Machine's second studio release, when the swelling guitars, organs, and strings, staccato percussion, and Florence Welch's air-raid siren of a voice lock up in a herculean battle over which one is going to launch itself into the stratosphere first. It's a contest that plays out at least once on each of Ceremonials' immaculately produced 12 tracks. Such carefully calculated moments of rhapsody would dissolve into redundant treacle in less capable hands, but Welch does emotional bombast better than any of her contemporaries, and when she wails into the black abyss above, the listener can't help but return the call. Bigger and bolder than 2009's excellent Lungs, Ceremonials rolls in like fog over the Thames, doling out a heavy-handed mix of Brit-pop-infused neo-soul anthems and lush, movie trailer-ready ballads that fuse the bluesy, electro-despair of Adele with the ornate, gothic melodrama of Kate Bush and Floodland-era Sisters of Mercy. Producer Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, Friendly Fires) knows that the fiercest weapon in his arsenal is Florence herself, and he stacks her vocals accordingly, creating a fevered, pagan gospel choir on "What the Water Gave Me" and "Leave My Body," a ghostly, Phil Spector-ish chorale on the surprisingly Beatlesque "Breaking Down," and a defiant, uplifting horde of merry pranksters on the spirited "Heartlines," resulting in that rare sophomore outing that not only manages to avoid the slump, but bests its predecessor in the process. [A deluxe edition of Ceremonials features three bonus studio tracks, as well as a demo version of "What the Water Gave Me."] ~ James Christopher Monger

BarCode
602527870427
Country of Origin
USA
Barcode
0602527870427
Label
Universal Republic
Duration
56m 0s
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Only If for a Night
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Shake It Out
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] What the Water Gave Me
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Never Let Me Go
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Breaking Down
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Lover to Lover
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] No Light, No Light
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Seven Devils
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Heartlines
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Spectrum
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] All This and Heaven Too
  12. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] Leave My Body
Artists
  1. Florence & the Machi
  2. Florence + the machine
Distributor
Universal Distribution
Previews

Rolling Stone (p.77) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "This is a very British record, drawing on a tradition of iconoclastic U.K pop that stretches from Kate Bush and Siouxsie and the Banshees to PJ Harvey."
Rolling Stone (p.71) - Ranked #27 in Rolling Stone's '50 Best Albums Of 2011' -- "[With] choirs and string players backing a voice that soars so high, it makes them seem like ants on the ground below."
Spin (p.67) - "[Welch is] a bloodied, bloodying songbird in a gilded cage of immaculately crafted, slow-burn, chest-beating empowerment anthems, gripping steel bars that her elegantly volcanic voice could shred at any moment."
Entertainment Weekly (p.74) - "[A] confident, unflinching tour de force....CEREMONIALS genuinely rocks..." -- Grade: A
Entertainment Weekly (p.100) - Ranked #5 in Entertainment Weekly's 'The Top 10 Albums Of 2011' -- "A big believer in Red Sea-parting melodrama, she's got the orchestral grandeur to pull it off."
Magnet (p.55) - "There's a marked '80s quality to the production that invigorates the music and nudges it into a meatier realm."

Video Disabled
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Engineer
Mark Rankin

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