Florence Welch should give herself a pat on the back, because she and her band successfully avoided what many artists fear the most; the sophomore slump. With their new album, </sp
an>Ceremonials, Welch and the gang prove once again that they are not just a group of talented musicians and brilliant songwriters but an up and coming group that is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Their first single, “Shake it Out”, was released in September of 2011 to mostly positive reviews. Welch once said in an interview with MTV Newsthat the song was about getting rid of regrets. “ I was thinking of regrets, like, you know when you feel like you’re stuck in yourself, you keep repeating certain patterns of behavior, and you kind of want to cut out that part of you and restart yourself….So this song was kind of like, ‘Shake yourself out of it, things will be OK.’”
A personal favorite of mine off the album (and what happens to be the second single) is “No Light, No Light”. This song reminds me of a failing relationship. With lyrics like, “You want a revelation , you want to get it right and it’s a conversation I just can’t have tonight,” it makes me think of a couple avoiding an argument and struggling to save a relationship that has no life(or in this case, “light”) anymore. The desperation and passion is clear in her plea as she sings, “I’d do anything to make you stay.”
Another favorite of mine was a dark tale of forbidden love called “Seven Devils” . The song makes a lot of religious references(Jesus cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene) such as, “Holy water cannot help you down,” and exorcism(“And now all your love will be exorcised”) While a reference to exorcism does not seem the most likely to be put in a love song, I like the comparison of trying to rid yourself of a toxic love affair to the religious ceremony of casting a demon out of a body.
This album definitely feels much darker than their debut, “Lungs”. The two lead singles off that album “Kiss with a Fist” and “Dog Days are Over” are much lighter and more upbeat than the singles on this album. While “Shake it Out” could be seen as a positive song, it still does not compare to the pep that “Kiss with a Fist” and “Dog Days are Over” had to them. Florence + the Machine even gave a rousing performance of “Dog Days are Over” at the 2010 MTV Video Music awards, which only boosted the songs popularity.
Lead singer, Florence Welch, is definitely an eccentric front woman and song writer, but it is her eccentricity, elegance, and beautiful voice that continuously wins over not only fans, but music critics as well. This album may be almost a year old, but if you haven’t checked it out yet, there’s no better time than now.