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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!
I never really listened to Flo before Ceremonials, but I know now that... God, I was missing out on so much! I bought Lungs and Ceremonials after seeing Flo on The Late Late Show (im from Ireland, if any different nationalities of people are reading this) and I listened to them in chronological order. I absolutely adored Lungs and then when I put Ceremonials into my CD...
Published on 20 July 2012 by Darraghmcnally

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good album but, not as good as previous material.
I have listened to this album again recently after buying it some time ago and being initially very disappointed ....... I thought, well, give it another 'go' , maybe I was expecting another Lungs..... Anyway, I've tried it again ,but , still have the same criticism... The album appears to be way over produced, the often 'Wall of Sound ' just competes to much with...
Published 19 months ago by M. J. D. Crowley


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!, 20 July 2012
This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
I never really listened to Flo before Ceremonials, but I know now that... God, I was missing out on so much! I bought Lungs and Ceremonials after seeing Flo on The Late Late Show (im from Ireland, if any different nationalities of people are reading this) and I listened to them in chronological order. I absolutely adored Lungs and then when I put Ceremonials into my CD player, I never expected the incredible songs that were blasted out of the small speakers. A lot of albums suffer from "second album syndrome" but I was amazed at how better this was then Lungs! Songs:
1: "Only If For A Night": a brilliant opener, OIFAN is an eerie yet beautiful number and sets the tone of Ceremonials. 10/10
2: "Shake It Out": love this, but I wouldn't call it my favourite song on Ceremonials. Really euphoric and cheerful yet with dark lyrics. 9/10
3: What The Water Gave Me: this and Spectrum are probably my favourite songs on Ceremonials. I love the way it starts off soft, and slowly gets louder and louders until it explodes into the final goosebump - enducing chorus. Beautiful instrumentation, beautiful lyrics, beautiful song. 10/10
4: Never Let Me Go: a beautiful slower number in contrast to most of the album, Flo coos about being enveloped in the ocean and overall paints a beautiful picture with this number. 10/10
5: Breaking Down: a dark yet upbeat song, Flo's gorgeous vocals echo and fade in and out over a stellar drum beat. 10/10
6: Lover To Lover: can be forgotten in the might of other tracks, track 6 of Ceremonials is a brilliant song, but not the best that the album has to offer. 8/10
7: No Light, No Light: Flo is here with her trademark pounding drums on track 7. NL, NL can really be described in one word: AWESOME. Excellent single choice. 10/10
8: Seven Devils: let me just say first of all, that Seven Devils is Flo's creepiest track yet. The darkest of songs on Ceremonials, this doesn't mean that it isn't any good though! 9/10
9: Heartlines: brilliant song, lovely intro of what sounds like exotic birds, followed by... You guessed it thumping drums! Really uplifting number 10/10
10: Spectrum: what can I say.... Incredible. The lyrics are beautiful, which compares a loving relationship to bursting into a spectrum of colour. Best single off Ceremonials in my opinion (WTWGM IS kind off a promotional single), Flo shouting "Say my naaaaaaaaaammme!" will give you goosebumps. 10/10 of course
11: All This And Heaven Too: it's a good song but I personally don't think it fits with the album. It is really relaxed and nice though, and offers you a breather from all of the pounding up tempo tracks on Ceremonials. 9/10
12: Leave My Body: brilliant choice for the closer of Ceremonials, it finishes the album in the same tone that it was set in from the beginning: dark. Really eerie yet beautiful outro too. 10/10

Overall Ceremonials is AMAZING, and is a strong contender for Album Of The Year.

Album score: 10/10
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After a week - Brilliant!, 10 Nov. 2011
By 
Shaun Horrigan "Shaun" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
Lungs was one of my favourite albums from the past couple of years, so when Ceremonials was released I just had to buy it straight away.

On first listening I think I was just overwhelmed by the "wall of sound" production running through the entire album and to be honest I was slightly worried that nothing really stood out to me. That was a week ago. After a week and numerous listens to both individual tracks and to the album as a whole almost every song has grown on me so much that I can't get a couple of them out of my head.

Make sure if you can, to listen to the album on a good set of speakers or very good quality headphones. The initial wall of sound is actually much more subtle than you first think, with multiple levels of overlaid tracks and vocals that you can pick out and follow individually. There is also subtle use made of almost sub-sonic bass frequencies that you almost feel rather than hear. The album also sounds terrific when played loud!

As others have said, this is not Lungs II. Although every track is a big production with soaring gospel style backing in several songs, the lyrics actually have quite dark undertones. The strange noises at the beginning or end of some tracks or in some cases running through the track also adds to the slight feeling of unease/hidden menace that seems to run through whole album. If I had to pick a stand-out track, I would personally pick Heartlines - from the haunting sounds at the beginning to the crash of the bass drums and the multiply overlaid vocals in the chorus to the single note finish, this song is totally stuck on repeat in my head.

Overall: - 5 stars - This album needed a bit of time to grow on me, but grow on my it has in a very big way. Give it a chance and I am sure it will grow on you too!
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111 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by Ancient Grace Slick fan..., 15 Nov. 2011
By 
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
Dear Florence
when I was young (around the middle of the last century) we had only a few bands (and no Simon Cowell).
These bands made their own music and played their own instruments.
Some were very very good, and some were just awful - but they all had a go, and rose or fell on their own merits.

One such band was called Jefferson Airplane (the Jefferson after the US President, and the Airplane after Jefferson... (c) A A Milne).

Their singer was a young (in those days) lady called Grace Slick. She had an amazing voice which could soar and roar and whisper and knock down walls.

At one point the 'Airplane was playing a concert in a rain storm and Grace Slick stood at the front of the band, put her head back into the storm and let rip with the lyrics. Thunder and lightning... She has retired now. You may have heard "White Rabbit" - the psychedelic version of Alice in Wonderland (although I suspect the Alice story had something to do with psychedelics as well...) - Grace Slick had a kind of reckless abandon when singing, and her voice was magnificent. Try listening to some of the tracks on "Baron Von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun" or "Sunfighter", they may remind you of someone...

During these dying days of the European Experiment, I listen to a variety of music (mostly Jazz I have to admit - perhaps it's an age thing?), but I am blessed with a number (4) of daughters who visit and bring their latest favourite CDs... and sometimes the music is Good (Pearl Jam, Bluehorses, Smashing Pumpkins, Evanescence, kd lang, the National, Tori Amos, Hole) and sometimes it isn't (<names removed to protect the guilty>).

And then sometimes I listen to Jools. 'Cos he has people like Roy Harper (another real musician from the 1960s), and now and again some new group that stirs one's interest.

So the other night there was a band fronted by a red-haired Pre-Raphaelite 'stunner' called Florence.
And during the second song (whose name escapes me) she put her head back and let rip... Tingles down the spine - there was the sound and glory of the Slick in full flight... Magnificent, inspiring, reckless abandon. Now that is a voice. A true, natural, unembellished, magnificent vocal machine... Just glorious.

And so here we are - Florence and the Machine. Ceremonials. I just had to rush out and get the CD. And I was not disappointed at all.
The spirit (and lungs) of Grace Slick - fronting a splendid band, playing their own tunes, and not bowing to the miserable Cowell effect. And with a harp - brilliant.

This is a magnificent album - worthy of the five stars - and I am so delighted that half a century on from the birth of rock music, there are wonderful, independent, brilliant musicians carrying on the glory...
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait., 3 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
Having listened to this album now a few times it seems to me many music commentators have brushed but not experienced the album and as such it has been underrated.

This certainly isn't Lungs, or Lungs Pt 2, but that's actually a good thing; Ceremonials is much more of an personable album than Lungs was. The big difference between Lungs & Ceremonials is that Ceremonials like a well aged wine needs that little extra attention to get the best out of it, but in giving it that little extra attention it'll take you on an intense journey that's unrivalled by any other album I've listened to this year thus far.

Much of the album is powerfully sung and as a consequence it doesn't have as many of the soft vulnerable moments as we're used to seeing from Florence's music but that doesn't detract from the listening experience.

Lungs felt like a first date with Florence & the Machine; it was intense, exciting, thrilling & sometimes vulnerable, Ceremonials is like a third date; more familiar, a deeper connection and understanding, and a better relationship as a result.

Ceremonials certainly hasn't lost that trademark Florence & the Machine 'Wow' Factor and it's a delight to listen to, Never Let Me Go being the standout song of the album for me personally.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let the only sound be the over-Flo, 17 May 2012
By 
B. Gruner (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
This album currently rules my world. I would have said I left the age of fangirling behind me (2 decades behind!) but here I am absolutely addicted. I also love Lungs and whichever album I'm currently listening to seems the better of the two. Aaand back to the other one again once that's playing again - I just can't decide. Same with my favourite track on here. The only one I didn't like at first sight was Lover to Lover - and yet that's one of my favourites now. Flo's voice just carries it through! Yes it has a consistent sound (as opposed to the "scrapbook" that was Lungs), but I wouldn't say it's "samey". Yes the wall of sounds seems overwhelming at first - but just discover the layers of instrumentation and vocals behind it! (good speakers or headphones recommended) Oh, and absolutely definitely get the deluxe version - the additional tracks are so worth it. F+TM have the luxury to relegate songs to their B sides that others would kill for as their title tracks! Some people have called it pompous and as if she invented her own religion (if only! I wouldn't mind submitting myself to Floism!). I think it is a grand album with a grand sound which grows on you with each repetition - just be careful, you might end up equally addicted! Oh and did I mention her voice???? Ahhh I'll just go back to my dark room worshipping The Flo ;-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 7 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
Absolutely excellent. I thought that her first album had glimpses of something better, but it perhaps did not quite deliver as expected. But in this album, we see something better, and finally they have produced an album that is completely on a whole different level to the first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy, polished and beautiful, 2 Nov. 2011
By 
Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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It's always exciting to receive a new album from someone whose first album you loved and whose music you can place effortlessly against the time in your life you first heard it. Sometimes in the space between the two albums some of the raw edge that you loved so much can get worn off, and songs can move at varying degrees towards the mainstream. Listening to Ceremonials is a slightly surprising experience, as it is clear that a lot of effort has gone into making this a polished production, both in terms of the song writing and the production, and a lot of the songs are clearly more accessible to what you might term a mainstream audience... But there's simply not one bad song on the album, and most of them are beautiful, haunting songs with lyrics so descriptive and evocative that you're back there again feeling that same experience of discovery that you did when first listening to Lungs.

It's possible to "cherry pick" songs from this album - and I could pick out several favourites - but I wouldn't recommend doing that, as it works so well as a whole album. It's a more thoughtful and restrained album than you may have expected, but it's bound to bring Florence + The Machine a whole new raft of fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stratospheric!, 11 April 2014
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This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
This is a spiritual, emotional, passionate storm of a record. Shake it out and Spectrum make me feel like I have been lifted into the stratosphere and blown in all directions by these bellowing gales of songs. Shake it out in particular is such a stimulating screaming experience.

Only if for a night is a really powerful evocation of a dream of childhood, I dance on tiptoes to it, outside of the graveyard.

Never let me go is a profoundly sad, deep song, listen to it. One day we will all have to give in but we must not give up! Its a language I never new before and it moves me to tears.

I recommend listening to this alongside Sol Seppy. Between them, the spirit ascending and descending.

Few artistic musical creations have the ability to move me spiritually and emotionally like these tracks. Sol Seppy is one, Kate bush is another. Like all real original works of art, to be appreciated fully, the recipient must do some work too. Take the time to listen deeply, without judgement, don't try and fit them into a cage, dance, indulge, bathe in these fine wild creatures, but hold tight!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waves Of Magic On This Album, 8 July 2012
In the sleeve notes to this album,Florence is quoted as saying to the ocean waves when she was a little girl:
"I'll make a deal with you.You stay there.You don't come any closer."

This really sums the album up.Produced by Paul Epworth,a modern-day Phil Spector,Ceremonials has a rich tapestry of songs and lyrics to entrap the listener's ear.Twelve tracks of gorgeous songs(my favourites being the kaleidoscopic Spectrum and No Light No Light),this album is far superior to Lungs(and that was a cracker).

Beautiful Florence weaves her spell on this record.She is a 21st Century Kate Bush.

The photos on the inner sleeve are lovely too,featuring Florence in a variety of pre-Raphaelite poses and floaty Isadora Duncan-style dresses.

Happy and tragic at the same time,this album is a bit of a treasure.I'm so glad I discovered it before it was too late.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Great 2nd Album For Flo, 5 April 2013
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This review is from: Ceremonials (Audio CD)
I will start off by saying that this album is amazing!
But I will also have to say that it took me a few listens, to fully appreciate it!
It is NOT like Lungs at all, which was an amazing album as well, but, if you liked Lungs, then you will probably like Ceremonials.
My favourite songs are: Breaking Down (Which is one that took me ages to like, at first I found it sooooo boring, but as you listen to it more and more times, you will get used to it and start to like it!). I also really like the hit single Shake it Out which is quite dark but very good listening material!
If the first album wasn't quite to your liking; you actually might enjoy this one, so please give Ceremonials the benefit of the doubt and give it a listen.
If you really know it's not for you, then fair enough, everybody's tastes are different, but I personally love this album and there isn't a song on it that I would skip!
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Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine (Audio CD - 2011)
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