Artist: Florence + The Machine
Format: Digital (Spotify)
Florence Welch + The Machine garnered a steady rumble of support in 2010 behind the strength of “Lungs.”
It set high expectations for “Ceremonials,” which had offers from American producers to lure the band’s impeccably voiced chanteuse across the pond for its newest sessions.
The band stayed in its native England, hoping for an album that sounded like an extension of “Lungs.”
Welch’s voice isn’t enough to save a pedestrian package of songs, serving as vehicles to show off her voice. “Spectrum” sounds like a lost Eurythmics track, with Welch’s powerful voice climbing against a light dance rhythm.
Many of the songs feature a cathedral chorus of layered, soaring vocals over minimal drums or instrumentation. Booming drums add a sense of drama to the sound space, but most of the tracks plod along in a fashion similar to the ones before it.
That leaves much of the material feeling grandiose in the same way, with none of them leaving a lasting impression.
“Ceremonials” is a showpiece for Welch’s voice so much that one wonders if the band has any other tricks. While she doesn’t have a bad one, it’s not enough to make the whole show.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.