Ceremonials - Florence + the Machine
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 206 Ratings

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  • Summary: The darker second album for the indie band was produced by Paul Epworth.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Dec 13, 2011
    Ceremonials is quite some achievement: an accomplished pop record infused with intelligence and imagination... It offers the final, conclusive evidence that she's a pop star to believe in. [Dec. 2011 p. 118]
  2. Nov 4, 2011
    Ceremonials is truly one of the few recent pop LPs that works both as a collection of individual songs and as a true album, with the right balance and flow to keep the record captivating from start to finish.
  3. Nov 11, 2011
    An ambitious LP like is, backlit by harmonies and dramatic chord changes, is the perfect vehicle to showcase her voice; a less talented vocalist would crumble under its heaviness.
  4. Nov 2, 2011
    Ceremonials abandons so many of the musical avenues she mapped out on Lungs and focuses instead on a monolithic sound that is certainly affecting but is becoming increasingly conventional in 2011.
  5. 60
    It's this robust fervor and subject matter that fire up and lift up many of the songs on Ceremonials, but the constant exhortation comes at a price. Listener fatigue sets in as the relentless, up-tempo pace and sharply exclamatory vocal tone overwhelms over the course of the album.
  6. Nov 3, 2011
    Instead of Lungs' largely charming yet discombobulating diversity, Ceremonials suffers from a repetitiveness that's akin to looking at a skyline filled with 100-story behemoths lined-up one after the other, blocking out everything but their own size.
  7. Oct 31, 2011
    Ceremonials never comes down off the high precipice.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 57
  2. Negative: 1 out of 57
  1. Nov 1, 2011
    I can honestly say that is album is the best album released in 2011. There is no contest. The sound is like nothing you have heard before, the vocals are breathtaking and the production is perfection. As much as I liked "Lungs" it does not compare to "Ceremonials". It is an experience, It cannot be explained! you have to live it to understand. Expand
  2. Apr 30, 2014
    Should have at least been nominated for Album of the Year, even if it doesn't win. The epicness of this album and the individuality of the songs match the theme of having ceremonials perfectly. Expand
  3. Nov 3, 2011
    Florence has always been one of those beautiful acts that are always there on your iPod should you need something powerful to play in your ears, for me. This album, however, has made her so much more.

    It's powerful, a power that exceeds even the near flawless 'Lungs'. It carries with it the haunting edge 'Lungs' also held, but plays on it in far more straight-forward ways, a hurricane in musical production and voice, though she equally explores softer melodies, wind instruments and sweeter singing, reminiscent to my 'Lungs' highlight, 'Blinding'.

    This is not to mention the fact that Florence Welch is one of the best songwriters in recent memory, let alone singers. She's truly crafted herself a niche in music and still manages to feel like a breath of empowering, fresh air on every listen. It's thus far, for me, the quintessential album of 2011.
  4. Nov 19, 2013
    This album changes nothing of my opinions about the band other than that now, the band is just as important as Welch's vocals. It offers an eclectic set of sounds with great musicality. "Only If for a Night" opens the album promisingly to join "Never Let Me Go", "Spectrum", and "Seven Devils" being the tracks that stand out the most. Expand
  5. May 30, 2012
    A very solid second album. The whole record has more darker tones than the first one. The songwriting is constant in quality and there are less fillers than the 1st album. Producer Paul Epsworth has done a tremendous job here! . Florence is definitely here to last, like it or not. Expand
  6. Dec 12, 2011
    While Lungs was more eclectic (and appropriately body focused), Ceremonials dives into exploring the sometimes more elusive sacred aspects of experience, and ends up settling into a more cohesive sounding album. Listening to this album feels as serious and mysterious as the best of ceremonies, yet never as boring thanks to the percussive and epic anthems that call for us to sing aloud. "Thin Space" is a Celtic phrase used to describe places where the two worlds of spiritual and natural meet. Ceremonials is a thin space for me. Highlights are all the first 7 tracks together, and the last 2. Expand
  7. Nov 26, 2011
    After finally managing to force myself to listen to Ceremonials for a third time, I can safely say my initial verdict was the correct one - Just about every song misses the mark on what it tries to achieve and they all suffer from the same problem of being over-produced and under delivered. In the end, a grand, sweeping sound throughout can't mask the half-baked lyrics and bad arrangement. Lungs was a masterpiece. This is utter crap. Expand

See all 57 User Reviews