Album Review: Florence and the Machine ‘Ceremonials’
Music Trajectory Rating: 5/5
Taking what worked with first album Lungs and amplifying those qualities to craft a fantastic album from start to finish
A couple months ago I came across the video for “Shake It Out” when I was surfing nme.com, a staple music site of mine. I instantly loved the song and remember playing it for my girlfriend, saying “you have to hear this song.” She loved it too, and so we had to dig a little deeper on Florence + The Machine. I think Youtube is a great source for finding other material from an artist so I started watching a very in-depth video playlist on the band’s Youtube Channel. The playlist was a mix of songs off the first album and the three singles that had been released from Ceremonials, with a few of the videos in the playlist being live footage from various festivals. I was impressed with Florence live and decided to buy the two albums because I was obviously starting to be a huge fan. So my experience with getting into Florence + The Machine was listening to both albums simultaneously, trying to figure out which one was better. Now that I have thoroughly listened to both albums and seen Florence + The Machine in concert just last week at the 2011 91X Wrex the Halls show, I thought I would write a little something about Ceremonials.
I think it is easy to just want to compare the two albums and find out which one is “better”. That is difficult here because these two albums are so different. First album Lungs IS more easily accessible and “catchy”, if you will. All of the hits that made Florence + The Machine famous are on Lungs. Ceremonials has it’s share of hits AND the album is deeper. And when I say deeper I mean there is more to Ceremonials; the material as a whole – the lyrics, the song construction, the music – has more to it. I would also venture to say that Ceremonials is a darker album, compared to Lungs.
So having been exposed to both albums at the same time, and now knowing each one inside and out, my personal opinion is that Ceremonials is the better “album”. I did not think this at first though. Like I said, Lungs will draw you in quicker since it is more accessible and catchy but I think Ceremonials has more staying power, if you allow it to grow on you.
Regardless, both albums are amazing and Florence + The Machine is one of the best bands on the planet right now. I highly recommend picking up both albums and catching the band live.
Best 3 tracks on the album:
Other standout tracks:
Links of Interest:
Spin.com Ceremonials Album Review
RollingStone.com Ceremonials Album Review
NME.com Ceremonials Album Review