- Best Pop Duo/Grup Performance, "Shake It Out"
- Best Pop Vocal Album
Florence captured my heart with "Dog Days Are Over" and "Shake It Out," both equally uplifting songs when the crap in your life threatens to overtake your heart. So, when "Ceremonials" came out, I was excited to hear what was next. I remember listening through this album on my last night of Master's work, and taking my final test to it, and… not being terribly impressed. That was also the night I decided to start my music blog the following day, but having not been happy with the album, did not want to kick off the blog with it.
Well, a year and a half later, here we are, and it's time to re-visit and hopefully love the music.
"Only If For A Night" starts things off. Of course you get the echo-y sound you get with Florence, sounding more like a choir than a singer ever does. This time, the sounds are a little more lost of the ears. There's less impact for me on the lyrics of this one than ever before with her music. There's also power though, regardless. Such a weird feeling but okay, enough to pique curiosity for more.
| || |
Ah yay, "Shake It Out" comes on next with every bit of soul-saving power as I needed and was expecting. This song builds and is fantastic in its way. It's intense for sure (I mean, listen to the lyrics for real) but there are moment when everything is solved. This is a song to let loose for and relieve the pressures of life. Can I say anymore positive things before you're convinced of my love for the music and all it does? Not the video I was expecting, but I'll love you for it anyway my dear Florence.
"What the Water Gave Me" was going on in the background while I was in the middle of an email, and I was getting into it totally sub-consciously. My foot was going and everything. Wow, what power. I know, I know, I'm using that word a LOT today, but that's what I keep getting from this. If you can feel music in your heart without even truly honing in on it with your ears, you know there's something special there.
| || |
On an airier sound moment, "Never Let Me Go" takes over the ears. Why didn't I like this album a year ago? So confused now. I noticed a video was up for it and stopped just listening because something like this just cries out to be accompanied by visuals. This one's a little darker than before, but somehow more spiritual. I'll admit - I have no flipping ideal what's happening with this oily water dripping everywhere and over everything. I can't tell id it's tears and sadness over the heartbreak, or if there's a relief in out-pouring of emotion from giving in to love. Quite frankly, I don't mind either.
I had to check Spotify to make sure a commercial wasn't actually playing as "Breaking Down" started up. It doesn't sound like anything on the rest of the CD so far! The opening instrumental part alone is so poppy and cute, who would've known it was the same artist? I mean, as it goes in, the vocals give her away and it all makes more sense, but I was really weirded out by that at first. Jeese, just throw me off a little more why don't yah?
| || |
Seriously, when did we go pop-soul on this album? "Lover To Lover" has a piano carrying this old-school little cute beat. It's matched by a drum later on with some great sound, though I can't make out half of the words. The question remains, is that bad or can I live with it? I mean, this is the one that can get the crowd up and moving with her and the band in such a cool jam way. I think I love it.
"No Light, No Light" is a little more on the choir-esq side we're used to. By that, I guess I just mean that there's a very lofty feeling. Straight out, we should be a church (a rockin' church, mind you) for something like this. It picks up and moves like nothing else as we hit the chorus of the song. It's about now I'm noticing how long her pieces are. This one, for instance, sits at about four and a half minutes, though the next three push over five. Long for music, but the fact that it largely goes unnoticed as you listen means it's worth all of the time.
| || |
"Heartlines" has invaded my ears before. There's drumming from a primal source and a reaching out to your soul and being. I don't get the full-on message that's being sent out (mostly because Meg and I are discussing possibly investing in better Brooklyn seats for 98 Degrees this June and I wasn't completely listening), but something was hitting right for sure.
Goodness gracious, this is a long album. I just scrolled down - 16 tracks. You don't see that very often anymore. "Spectrum" is next, and it starts off with Florence on the air, until the band picks up with more campfire instruments than I remember in recent history. It's a great movement beat, don't get me wrong. There's also a hard feel to the sound, where you really have to concentrate on the words in order to pick up anything serious. That may be the style, or just the way it's recorded, but I have to admit that this one is really hard to listen to.
| || |
This next one has a nice feel of happiness surrounding it: "All This And Heaven Too." Now, we still get Florence's air of singing, but there's also a sweetness to the music itself, with a surrounding sound of happy! Did not really expect this, but I like the input of feeling into the album. I just want to spin in circles and enjoy this one.
Whoa, did not know my headphones had so much bass in them. "Remain Nameless" basically relies on it for the first minute. The rest, even, relies namely on speaker beats controlling your heartbeat while the girl sings over them. There's a slight 80's throwback sound here, obviously with updated recording style, but the general feel is there.
"Strangeness and Charm" plays around a little more with beats and charming voices (sorry, titles do that to me). The one thing here that's getting me is this wonderful off-beat that's driving the music along. It's a clapping beat that was big years ago and I haven't heard much of, at least prominently, in quite a while. She makes great use of it here.
Hmm, interesting idea for a title: "Bedroom Hymns." There are hints of body talk going on, so it could exactly what you think it is. It could also be immensely deeper than that, given the nature of this layered music that continually spins down and down and down some more.
We made it to the final song, which in this case serves as a bonus track of sorts. "What The Water Gave Me - Demo" is up last, which was great as a fully produced track. In this instance, we loose some of the layers, and I'm left a bit confused because demo's typically stick to acoustic instruments. Here, we still get a lot of the beats provided electronically, but the effects of recording are stripped away. Whatever - it still pretty much works.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Shake It Out"
- "What The Water Gave Me"
- "Never Let Me Go"
- "Lover To Lover"
- "All This And Heaven Too"
- "Leave My Body"
- "Bedroom Hymns"
Okay, seriously, what was my issue with this back in December of 2011?? Maybe school really got to me and I was not in the right mindset. Regardless, this was mostly excellent. Some songs were a bit out there, as to be expected since this chick really does seem to do her own thing more often than not. Respect.