Florence and the Machine have a presence and magnetism incomparable to many bands. I saw the band at Summerfest this past summer and watched as the lead vocalist, Florence Welch, twirled around the main stage, the audience’s eyes glued to her presence, hypnotized by her sound.
The charismatic nature of Florence and the Machine extends through the band’s sophomore album Ceremonials, producing a more full and powerful sound than its predecessor Lungs. A medley of instruments provide a perfect backdrop for the impressive vocal range of lead singer Florence Welch, packaging the Florence and the Machine sound into an incredibly satisfying listening experience.
Ceremonials opens with Only if For a Night, a song which embodies many aspects the band is known for. From the mystical opening verse to the build-up of instruments culminating in a hymn-like, almost chant of lyrics, the song is a perfect entrance into the album.
One of my favorite songs on Ceremonials is Spectrum. Florence sings, “…Say my name! As every color illuminates!” This song is a perfect example of the fact that when Florence speaks, her audience listens. Lyrics escape from Florence’s lips with tremendous authority.
Spectrum is also testament to the poetic masterpiece that is Ceremonials. Florence sings,
“…And when we come for you, We’ll be dressed up all in blue, With the ocean in our arms, Kissing eyes and kissing palms, And when it’s time to pray, We’ll be dressed up all in grey, With metal on our tongues, And silver in our lungs…”
Seven Devils is another song that deserves attention. A mystical, suspense building beat, coupled with a mysterious chorus produce a gorgeous sound.
There is a recurring theme of water (in the form of oceans and rivers), laced through many of the songs on Florence and the Machine’s album. Perhaps the album is a tribute to nature- a spiritual-like, emotional cleansing.
I think it’s safe to admit I’m under the spell of Florence + The Machine’s charm. Ceremonials is worthy of praise.