Florence And The Machine-Ceremonials.

Whatever I write about this record will not do it justice. Whatever I write will NOT make sense. I’ll end up ranting. If I was you, I wouldn’t bother reading this. It honestly is the safest thing for you to do. I know I never make sense and I write a lot of bullshit, but it is going to get worse as I listen to this record. That’s your warning. It’s the only one you are going to get.

So with that, I shall start. I’m not sorry for anything outrageous I may write.

Sometimes the second album can be a pain in the nips to write can’t it, especially when you one of the world’s greatest current female artists. But let’s be honest, anyone who thought Florence couldn’t give us an album that is of the same calibre as Lungs is a bit of a dick. By bit, I mean a lot. Just look at the talent she has. There’s no way in hell that she couldn’t make an album as amazing as Lungs- maybe one better. Lungs has a lot of emotional value to me. It came out when I was at one of the shittiest times of my life, but that album got me through. As did my best friend (HIYARRRRRR!) combine the two- and you now have one stable human being.

I know I said like an hour ago Summer Camp’s album is my favourite record of the year but I have decided that I am allowed to have more than one. Ceremonials is my other favourite record of the year. Why? Oh as if that requires an answer.

Florence Welch isn’t just a singer/song-writer. She’s a poet. Read her lyrics, and you’ll see that the way she words things and the words she uses are so carefully put together and well thought out- just like a true poet. A romantic poet. There is so much darkness and romanticism in her lyrics; that is one of the fundamental reasons as to why I fell in love with her music 4 years ago in my room at University. I remember that day more clearly than most. It was like something clicked in my brain. It’s totally okay to embrace the darker side of things and let it lure you in.

Favourite track so far off the record has to be Breaking Down. I love the way she whispers the verses. I love how vulnerable this song is. Fuck, the whole record is a body of fragility and purity. I’m the same age as Florence, it blows my mind to know this. Actually, I think my favourite could be Lover To Lover.

Lover To Lover has this MASSIVE 60s soul anthem feel to it. Think Aretha Franklin- go with that..do you hear it? It’s so bloody soulful. This is THE ONE. Look, if you want your soul saving or that heart of yours fixing get involved with this record. Actually, Lover To Lover has that euphoric build up in it like Marvin Gaye’s Heard It Through The Grapevine. Seriously, it is passionate and so FUCKING euphoric. The whole record makes you want to pull a mental face out of sheer bliss then hug someone because you are so happy! It doesn’t matter that the lyrics are dark and heartbreaking- it still makes your body feel like it is on fire and that everything is okay in your world.

Going to be slightly personal for a sec. This year has been pretty shite. I don’t need to tell you why, but certain records have done something to me internally and made me feel better about everything. They made it okay for me to allow myself to feel like shit (but not to do it in the eyes of anyone who knows me) and I can safely say that Ceremonials is probably going to go on the list of records that not only improved this year for me; but it’s changed my life a little bit. Her music does that to me. It did it the first time I ever heard her voice and it does it every time I listen to her music. Something takes over all this self-doubt and causes it to fuck off. That’s the power of music. It can make you feel something so ugly and gnarly- but then it just chases it all away. It is the most reliable source of comfort.

Seven Devils is menacing. Seven Devils should scare the shit out of you. Seven Devils is a nightmare. It is perfect. It is dark. Dark and mean- like a recor by The Jesus And Mary Chain. There’s so much death, despair and darkness surrounding this record. It feels like a healing process. I honestly cannot understand how someone could ignore the talent here. Not just on this record, but on Lungs too.  Seven Devils has that haunting feel that Blinding has. It’s probably going to be utterly mind-blowing live.

The drums on Heartlines has literally covered my body in goose bumps. How can something be so bloody perfect? This is beyond words. “But in order to get to the heart,  think sometimes you have to cut through.”  Live by that kids, and you’ll be fine.

Florence’s lyrics have always amazed  from Bird Song to Donkey Kosh- she’s always had this way of making you see things in a different way and approaching certain things in life in (maybe) a better way.

There is a much bigger sound on this record, much grander than Lungs but obviously as gorgeous. I’m not reluctant to love this record as much as I love Lungs. I thought I would be, but that’s not happening. I probably love this record moreand when I can think of something clever to say and how to say why I do- I will let you know. However, I don’t think I’m in any fit state now to even try. This record has well and truly blown whatever is left of my brain. It’s declared a large part of my heart that a person should claim. It’s moved me in some kind of spiritual way. I have no idea what Florence was aiming to achieve with this record, but I think it’s safe to say she has done it. There is nothing like this around at all. Gaga’s prancing around about being a freak, Adele’s still on about her ex- Florence actually has something for you to  listen to and lose yourself in. If you listen to Ceremonials and your body hasn’t trembled or you feel the need to go for a lie down because it is too much to take in- then you’ve not listened to the record properly.

Without sounding like a massive loser, I honestly have no idea what I would’ve done without Florence’s music. Her music has been there for everything- good and bad. They say you should never meet those you look up to or whatever, well- I have and it was the best time ever. I’m not just proud of the fact that I’ve met her, but I’m also proud to be a fan of hers. I honestly cannot understand how anyone cannot be moved by this record. It should spark that flame in your that has been burning out for some time. It should make you want to do something, anything. Fuck…it doesn’t matter. It is a masterpiece.

Ceremonials is a ritualistic piece of art. It feels like one huge prayer or an outer body experience. It feels like you are leaving yourself and finding another part of you as you listen to this record. Leave My Body is the standout track that makes you feel this way. “I’m gonna be released from behind these lines. And I don’t care whether I live or die. And I’m losing blood, I’m gonna leave my bones. And I don’t want your heart it leaves me cold.”

I hate everything I’ve written down, but the point is- this is one of the best records of the year and on Monday you NEED to go out and buy it. You know, it may not change your life but you need it in your record collection. Just listen to it. Turn your phone off, sit in the dark and listen to this record. Close off the world and just give yourself over to Ceremonials for an hour or so. Maybe have it on repeat for about 5 more listens. Maybe more than 5. I have no idea what to do with myself now I’ve heard this. Will anything mean as much? I guess I’ll just have to wait until album number 3.

“But with all my education, I can’t seem to command it. And the words are all escaping, coming back all damaged. And I would put them back in poetry,if I only knew how. I can’t seem to understand it.”

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