This album review was written for Clash Magazine, to run in the same issue as the cover interview I also conducted with Florence.
While there’s no denying that the voice of Florence Welch is a bit like Marmite, the last two years have shown that she has many more lovers than haters, and deservedly so. Her unique sound and original lyrics paint stunning images of a spiritual world, where the joy of being alive is palpable.
The follow-up to debut album ‘Lungs’ is a confident, cohesive effort. The steady hand of Paul Epworth on production has helped Florence to take the winning formula of her distinctive vocals and melodies, the twinkling harps and thundering drums, and augment it with string arrangements, subtle electro touches, and gospel choirs.
‘Ceremonials’ boasts no less than six massive anthems – the power balladry of first single ‘Shake It Out’, the beautifully wistful pop song ‘Never Let Me Go’, the uplifting and typically Florence-sounding ‘No Light No Light’ and ‘Spectrum’, the primitive tribal rhythms of ‘Heartlines’ and the dramatic gospel closer ‘Leave My Body’. That’s not to say that the remaining songs are disappointing; far from it. They’re still beautifully crafted, but take the energy down a few notches.
The only real criticism of ‘Ceremonials’ is that this album is completely, relentlessly, Florence. Her fans will lap it up, while those who aren’t keen on her will probably remain unconvinced. The most successful pop stars are the ones who innovate, not imitate. Florence Welch is definitely the former.
To see the review on Clash’s website, click here.