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4.5 out of 5 stars
404
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 12 September 2013
Wish I had heard this sooner. Thanks You Tube! A great album to listen to in the car up loud!
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on 3 November 2011
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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on 5 March 2012
I absolutely adored "Lungs" and listened to it endlessly.
I simply could not wait for Florence's next offering and boy was it worth the wait!
Epic songs, emotional journeys, fabulous music and of course that amazing voice. What more can you ask for.
Anyone who liked Lungs will like this, and if you havent heard Florence yet giver her a go! after all whats the worst that can happen?
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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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on 7 November 2011
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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on 11 April 2014
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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on 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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on 5 April 2013
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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on 11 December 2013
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 Florences voice..... You tend to hear the shouty pieces and have lost the subtle nuances, the warmth and mood changes that she does have but , as I say sadly being drowned out . Sometimes its sounds as if she is singing through the wall outside the studio... Its not a bad album but, maybe one day it will re-engineered to bring her voice back to the fore ... I'll give it another go in a few months , but , till then its only 3 stars for me .
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on 5 November 2011
I love this album but it's such a shame that the sound quality of this download on amazon is so poor.

Florence Welch has a beautiful and powerful voice but for some reason the download available doesn't do her voice justice.

The difference heard between the CD and download album is quite obvious and I'm still annoyed that I paid for the album twice (first as a download then as a CD) which is not really what I wanted. OK, the download was on offer at the time for £3.99 but that's not the point!

You don't pay for an album for it to be compressed to death, and really why should I have had to pay twice for the same thing? It may sound OK through an mp3 player or ipod but through a computer or speakers it just doesn't sound right.

I wish to point out that not all downloads available on Amazon are lacking so I don't think it's Amazon's fault at all. I may be wrong, but I think the blame lies with the record company or producers who obviously think it's fine to do this.

I do like CDs and I don't think that will ever change but there are times I just want the download to listen to and the quality of these formats should be the same.
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