Florence + the Machine stunning in new album, ‘Ceremonials’

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By Krystal Sidzyik, Senior Staff Writer

It’s rare that a musician releases an album and every track is brilliant, but Florence + the Machine has done just that with its latest album, “Ceremonials.”

Florence + the Machine is led by powerful British singer and songwriter Florence Welch, who relies on a lineup of regular musicians to support her live shows. “Ceremonials,” Florence + the Machine’s second album, was released on Nov. 1 and has been received well by critics since its release.

“Ceremonials” was released in a standard 12-song version, along with a deluxe digital version with 20 tracks that feature additional songs, demos and acoustic numbers.

The album opens strong with “Only If for a Night.” Welch’s chilling lyrics are accompanied by a flawless mix of piano and harp. The second track is the album’s first single, “Shake It Out.” Welch’s vocals on this track are strong and bold compared to other tracks like “What the Water Gave Me” and “Seven Devils,” where her vocals are vulnerable and echoing.

“I want my music to sound like throwing yourself out of a tree, or off a tall building, or as if you’re being sucked down into the ocean and you can’t breathe,” Welch said on her band’s website. “It’s something overwhelming and all-encompassing that fills you up, and you’re either going to explode with it, or you’re just going to disappear.”

The album is an evolution of sound with its mix of tribal drums and mesmerizing sounds. “Spectrum” is catchy with its drums, and Welch is inspiring with her soaring vocals.

Two of the album’s most memorable tracks are “Never Let Me Go” and “Heartlines.” In “Never Let Me Go,” Welch sings about drowning as a means of escape: “And the arms of the ocean are carrying me/And all this devotion was rushing over me.” It’s a beautiful piano ballad with percussions. “Heartlines” is a fast-paced track with strong drums and a strong message: “Keep it up, I know you can/Just keep following the heartlines on your hand.”

According to the band’s website, Welch “writes her best songs when she’s drunk or has a hangover, because that’s when the freedom, the feral music comes, creating itself wildly from the fragments gathered in her notebooks and in her head.”

Since the album’s release, it has reached the No. 1 album spot in the U.K. and the No. 6 album spot in the United States. Florence + the Machine is currently on a small tour in the United States. The closest the band will come to the Omaha metro is Kansas City at The Midland by AMC on Dec 5. Tickets are $37.75 and can be purchased through www.ticketmaster.com.

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