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  • thea acierno

    Florence Welch album cover photo for Florence + The Machine Ceremonials

  • Alana Maltby

    By JODY ROSEN - Rolling Stone NOVEMBER 1, 2011 Florence is a machine. When Florence Welch burst to prominence two years ago, fronting a five-piece rock band as vigorous as any that's emerged from the U.K. in recent memory, it was clear that she was something special: a vocalist with extra horsepower who hurtled through love songs like a truck tearing down an empty highway on a moonless night. Florence and the Machine's second album is as dark, robust and romantic as ever, but a revving 18-wheeler is no longer the apt metaphor for Welch's voice. Listen to her hooting and growling on "Only If for a Night," a ballad somewhere between classic soul and midnight-on-the-moors English art rock. Listen to "Shake It Out," a treatise on heartbreak and spiritual rebirth. "I am done with my graceless heart/So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart," she cries, over guitars and keyboards that heave and chime. This is the sound of a human turbine – a wind machine. On their 2009 debut, Florence and the Machine were a wiry rock band with a taste for melodrama. Here the scale is vastly inf lated: turbulent ballads, powered by booming drums and vocal chorales rising like distant thunder, full of Welch's banshee wails. The music touches on Celtic melodies, bluesy rock stomps, nods to goth and gospel. But the wind never stops howling. Welch is a hopeless romantic obsessed with bad romance. Song after song casts relationships as struggle, with a hair's breadth separating rapture from disaster. For Welch, love is a force as vast and violent as nature itself. In "What the Water Gave Me," a spurned lover goes to a watery grave: "Oh, my love, don't forget me/I let the water take me/Lay me down/Let the only sound/Be the overflow." This is a very British record, drawing on a tradition of iconoclastic U.K. pop that stretches from Kate Bush and Siouxsie and the Banshees to PJ Harvey. There's also a hint of another large-lunged Englishwoman here. Listen to "Lover to Lover," where Welch blasts out a gospel-soul-style lead vocal over an arrangement that winks at the thudding backbeat of classic Motown. Adele, anyone? The rock band most forcefully evoked on Ceremonials is one of the biggest of all time: U2. Like them, Florence and the Machine are a true band, who channel garage-rock camaraderie into a huge, lashing sound more fit for an Olympian mountain peak than a garage. And like U2, Florence and the Machine are fronted by a singer with the pipes, and the shamelessness, to pull off the melodrama – to turn the ridiculous into the sublime. 2011 has been a banner year for left-of-center women rockers, from St. Vincent to Feist to Laura Marling. Those women are boutique stars, as, for the moment, is Florence Welch. But Ceremonials suggests she could be a rock star, and a big one. The album concludes with the rock-gospel uplift of "Leave My Body," as Welch roars out a vision of transcendence: "I'm gonna leave my body/Moving up to higher ground/Lose my mind." It's a big song, with a big, brash, Bono-worthy sentiment. And a voice to match.

  • Chin Camposano

    Music these days can be too accessible, at some point they can be too bland. But not Florence and the Machine. Ceremonials is the best album of 2012 and I've been listening to it constantly.

  • Writing Inspiration

    "Seven Devils" by Florence + the Machine - This song reminds me a lot of the fourth book when they take down the Council

  • Nikki Eckert

    The best music ever! My favorite! Listen to this all the time!

  • Andrea Ackinclose

    Florence +the Machine Ceremonials

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I have always loved Dog Days Are Over, but now I am realizing that she has a lot of good stuff.

Florence Welch... I'd love to see her in concert some day. She is not pretty, but she has a certain type of aura about her that is very engaging... plus that and her hair is amazing.

  • Jodi Follweiler

    Not pretty??? Like "pretty" makes someone interesting or worthy? She is talented, unique, and brilliant. So if you need "pretty" to see a concert...I feel your music appreciation standards are a bit misguided.

  • Ashley

    ^^ agreed. Wholeheartedly. Her talent blows any standards of beauty through the roof... but all of that aside she actually IS quite beautiful and unique. She may not be your typical "pretty" but she is beautiful nonetheless.

  • Jodi Follweiler

    Yes traditional beauty is such a narrow definition that most people do not come close to attaining even at birth. So I think the whole concept of pretty and beautiful should be broadened to include the wise, the brilliant, the kind, the curious, the timeless, and the well spoken, etc. We often equate outward beauty with goodness in this society, and that is a very flawed notion.

"And I could hear the thunder and see the lightning crack, And all around the world was waking, I never could go back. 'Cause all the walls of dreaming, they were torn wide open. It finally it seemed that the spell was broken."

Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out * Regrets collect like old friends * Here to relive your darkest moments * I can see no way, I can see no way * And all of the ghouls come out to play * And every demon wants his pound of flesh * But I like to keep some things to myself * I like to keep my issues drawn * It's always darkest before the dawn

Vampire Diaries s03e19 - DELENAAA :3 Florence + The Machine - Never Let Me Go

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Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials

Favorite lyrics from Over the Love by Florence + the Machine. Cannot wait to see Gatsby- I'm in love with the soundtrack.