Florence Welch has been given the freedom to indulge all her wildest musical fantasies
Ceremonials 3/5 There are two career paths in which being a well-to-do British person are an operational advantage – dastardly Hollywood villain and eccentric art-school pop star. Strangely, though, it’s been a while since Blighty has produced an unashamedly poncey chart artist, so the global breakthrough of Florence Welch (and her Machine) was good news all round. Following the runaway success of her debut album, Welch has been given the freedom to indulge all her wildest musical fantasies on this follow-up. The singer’s aim was to make songs which are ‘dramatic and spooky’ and in this she has definitely succeeded. Indeed, there are times when you wish she’d dial down the spook-o-stat a few degrees. It’s not that the drama or atmosphere is excessive, more that Welch relies on them a little too much. The whole album proceeds at a single pace –which, sadly, is mid, the least stimulating of all the paces. But the producers have tried their hardest to make each track sound different, and done a great job –whether it’s adding sub-bass to ‘No Light, No Light’, or twinkly harps to ‘Never Let Me Go’.