Home » A+E » Florence and the Machine’s opulent sound makes for grand ‘Ceremonials’

Florence and the Machine’s opulent sound makes for grand ‘Ceremonials’

There’s a character to the orchestration of songs by certain singer-songwriters, such as Rufus Wainwright, My Brightest Diamond, or Florence and the Machine here.

These songwriters bolster a “big” sound. This is to say that vocalist and songwriter Florence Welch has created a series of musically complex, yet extremely approachable, songs on the new album, “Ceremonials.”

Even through the crisp production, Welch supplies a sense of honesty that’s admirable in good singer-songwriter efforts. Welch’s voice is not particularly distinct, but is beautiful. Her voice is fair competition against the booming percussion and the resonating string and organ sections.

Confidence radiates from Welch, whose blue notes and volume give it a soulful approach, as noted on “Shake It Out.”

The album has its moments of being upbeat and dreary, as to be expected, but every song has a chorus that seems more practical to a church choir than solely Welch. It appears as if the songs were meant to be chanted by a quantity of voices greater than the one, showcased by “What the Water Gave Me” and “Never Let Me Go.”

Even though Welch tends to embellish melody throughout the album, the structure of each song has a quality that encourages listeners to sing the basic, “rhythm” lyrics of the chorus, to serve as back-up singers to Welch. Thus, Welch is capable of capturing listeners’ ears, blending them in with her musical environment.

Artists have been celebrated more based on their innovation. They are often given a nod for how “new” their sound is. This is not the case completely with singer-songwriter works, like this album. Welch wil be compared to other singers such as Regina Spektor or Adele, and rightly so.

However, singer-songwriters ought to be judged more on authenticity. “Ceremonials” is completely legitimate, like all good albums by singer-songwriters should be.

Grade: B+

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