Florence and the Machine
Ceremonials


2.5
average

Review

by ednights USER (5 Reviews)
October 31st, 2011 | 38 replies | 4,521 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: She is the drowning protagonist of What The Water Gave Me, her pockets filled not with stones but musical instruments and industry hype

14 of 21 thought this review was well written

Ssh now Florence. Get back in your mirrored box.

It's clear what the aim for this album was: taking Florence's goth-pop and blowing it up to epic, anthemic proportions. Instead, what she's delivered is fifteen tracks of overblown, monotonous pop bombast. Mostly, it feels forced, Florence living up to her bands name with a churning machine that, ironically enough, undermines her attempts at epic music. In isolation, singles like Shake It Off are easily digested, yet as a whole album it's relentlessly loud monotone. There's no diversity here, no light and shade, no time to breathe - for us or for Florence. A few acoustic tracks and demos don't count - they're little more than an afterthought. A far cry from the majesty of 'Lungs', 'Ceremonials' is sometimes haunting yet comes far closer to a collection of X-Factor celebration songs.

It's all peppered with electric guitar and synths, though the incessant tribal drums and endless choir choruses become tiresome. Individual instruments do shine - the church organ of No Light, No Light; the deep rumbling synths of Remain Nameless; the shimmering harp break in Spectrum. Indeed, musically there is some great stuff here and some catchy melodies (particularly Never Let Me Go), but it's stifled by bad production. Rarely has music sounded so overcrowded, or a vocal sounded so suffocated. She is the drowning protagonist of What The Water Gave Me, her pockets filled not with stones but musical instruments and industry hype. Florence need look no further than Bjork or Bat For Lashes to see how to do goth-pop with delicate subtlety.

But it's not just the production at fault here, it's Florence herself. The album exposes the limits of her vocals, reduced to screeching banshee for the majority of tracks. I suspect, though, this is to keep up with the overwhelming instrumentation. Also questionable is Florence's dubious songwriting ability. Lyrically, for all its fantastical and religious imagery, this is vacuous stuff. What exactly are the heartlines on your head?

Perhaps 'Lungs' was just a lucky break. Or perhaps success has gone to her head. Is Florence really the musical goddess the pop industry has labelled her as?


user ratings (547)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
related reviews

MTV Unplugged

Lungs

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2011



23801 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

in before sputnik shits on your face. good review, pos

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review! I haven't heard this one yet.

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2011



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You mad?!

Pretty good review but I strongly disagree.

Knott-
Emeritus
October 31st 2011



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

X-Factor celebration songs?

What the fuck?

psykonaut
October 31st 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

goth-pop?

what the fuck?

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2011



6397 Comments


Good review, and I'm more inclined to agree with this review instead of Ali's one...

Digging: Vessel - Punish, Honey

jefflebowski
October 31st 2011



7568 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review, pretty much exactly my thoughts on the album

'goth pop? what the fuck?'

didn't florence herself describe her music using words to that effect?

Digging: Tom Waits - Bone Machine

STOP SHOUTING!
October 31st 2011



631 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

tend to go with this too.
florence and the hype machine.

Valerius
October 31st 2011



1137 Comments


(4.5 + 2.5) / 2 = 3.5

There is your rating.

psykonaut
October 31st 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

didn't florence herself describe her music using words to that effect?

i dunno. if she did say that i can kinda a little bit understand where she was coming from but if we're gonna cite bjork as an example of "goth-pop" done right then what the fuck

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011



16134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Should neg for the rating, but the review's not bad.

coneren
October 31st 2011



11111 Comments


angel do it

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011



7346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Troll neg alert! Some people on this site really need to get real.

hamid95
October 31st 2011



100 Comments


Waayyyyy to negative towards this album. I found it to be a positive surprise, after being quite skeptical before the release. Good review, though.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2011



2714 Comments


Dat summary.

I haven't heard this LP, don't plan to if I'm honest. I've always been annoyed with FatM - so this review pleases me.

jeremologyy
October 31st 2011



268 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i am indifferent on this LP so far. kind of in the middle. though i actually think it's better / more fleshed out than Lungs, which I did not like too much. I agree her vocals have limitations, which is why I find acoustic versions of her songs a lot better usually. She can make good stuff when she really tries.

Knott-
Emeritus
October 31st 2011



10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

The first line of this review is so fucking stupid, and the same tone carries through to the rest of the write-up.

Fieryfenderz
October 31st 2011



1434 Comments


Oh bullshit

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 31st 2011



4459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

your arguments aren't particularly strong. Not sure what album you're listening to either.

zxlkho
October 31st 2011



3460 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not sure what to think of this review...



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy