World Cafe

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Florence & The Machine - Ceremonials - Universal Republic

When we use the word ‘anthemic’ to talk about rock and roll, it’s a description that is usually saved for bands like U2, Coldplay and the likes. Yet as we’re about to draw the curtain on this year in music, we have a party-crasher that not only demands to be heard – but needs to be. There is nothing modest about Florence and the Machine. Her debut album of 2009 Lungs was an instant success, both in minds of critics and audiences. Record sales soared and award nominations (Grammys, etc.) followed. So how would she approach her sophomore release? Swing for the fences, naturally.

2011 may have been the year of Adele, but Florence Welch is going to make you second guess at the very least. Not only does Florence contend as a vocalist but she brings a bit more versatility to the studio along with an ample dose of power. It’s easily distinguished that there is no holding back on Ceremonials. The first two songs on the album, “Only If For A Night” and “Shake It Out,” are stadium sized songs that soar upon thunderous drums and an army of voices. The one moment not to miss however on Ceremonials comes in the song “Lover to Lover.” While most of the album is blanketed with a darker, almost gothic tone, “Lover to Lover” is pure soul. It is a unique and awe-inspiring place on the album that embodies a little bit of all that Florence is.

It’s no doubt that part of the appeal of these songs is how they’ll transition to the stage. As your stereo speakers do their best to contain these tunes, you can bet that the festival circuit is yearning for them. The question of how to follow-up such an impressive debut has been answered, but how to follow-up Ceremonials? That may be a tougher task.

Buy XPN's Featured Album of the Week, Ceremonials at Your purchase that starts here supports WXPN public radio.