January 12, 2012

Florence + The Machine: Ceremonials

Florence Welsh delivers her highly anticipated second studio album Ceremonials, and it is exactly what the title suggests- every song is a grande anthem, the soundtrack of a conceptual epic.

Another in my top 10 of the year, as I figured it would be.  I put off previewing singles and videos, I put off reading reviews, I put off even opening the record until Christmas day.  It was a sweet reward worth the wait.

The gatefold package includes two 180 gram discs with printed inner sleeves containing photos, credits, thank-you's from Florence, and an essay about the album by novelist Emma Forrest.
There's no download or CD included, but there are bonus tracks available on separate deluxe editions of both. 

This is not a quirky album like her first record was- which in part made Lungs such a great album. This album is instantly commanding and doesn't let go until it's over.  On CD/download, it's a demanding listen without a chance to breathe (I also bought the download for iPod listening). On 4 LP sides though, you get a needed rest when it's time to flip sides.  Not that it's overwhelming- you'll spend that minute reflecting on how incredible and powerful that side just was, and be ready when the next side grabs you. 

Florence + The Machine online.
Ceremonials at metacritic.

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