I've been looping Florence And the Machine's new album Ceremonials non-stop for days now, and I still can't get enough of it. It's a glorious album of soaring highs and even higher highs, and is one I can really get high on. Er, ok, maybe not THAT kind of high, but you get the point.
Like Lungs, the emphasis is on Florence Welch's powerful, almost shouty vocals, with tough, pounding, almost tribal drum rhythms that add an almost visceral feeling to the songs. I saw Florence And The Machine live in concert a couple years ago (and interviewed her as well, she is such a darling little flightly, wispy character), and the drumbeats were the most memorable parts of the music (as well as her mad enthusiasm) for me.
My favorite song on the album BY FAR is All This And Heaven Too; a beautifully written, stirring, soaring song that rises and falls like a wave, with lyrics that flow along smoothly with the crests and falls of the music. It's got everything - beautiful, quiet breaks, a soaring chorus, a flowing, crescendo-ing outro, and wonderfully worded lyrics... I was looping this ONE song for more than an hour last week, and I'm STILL not sick of it.
As for the rest, my next favorite is Shake It Out, which is probably the most obvious 'hit single' of the album; and then there's Heartlines, album opener Only If For a Night, What The Water Gave Me, and Never Let Me Go... like Lungs, the more you listen to the album, the more each individual song stands out more.
One thing about the album though, it doesn't exactly break new ground when it comes to Florence's musical style. Somehow many of the songs just don't stand out as much as the individual brilliance of the songs in Lungs. Maybe it's the fact that I'm already used to her style now, whereas when Lungs came out, her sound was still fresh to my ears. But anyhow, if you liked Lungs, you'll like this one as well.
Most of the songs would also sound awesome in concert, which leads me to believe that If Lungs was her eccentric debut, then this is Florence And The Machine's huge stadium anthem album. Now if only she'd come back to the region for another show. I would give it all this and heaven too just to hear her sing All This And Heaven Too live. That would be glorious, just glorious.