on November 1, 2011
I was almost worried that Florence wouldn't be able to follow up on her absolutely perfect debut, but listening to the album (For the 6th time now) all of my fears have been eradicated. Absolutely stunning vocals and lyrics swell beautifully with dark, haunting, and exciting music, with the instrumentation flowing so perfectly into the songs!
This album easily tops Lungs' stunning sound and expands upon it. If you loved Lungs, you will love this even more, of this I have little doubt.
Only If For A Night - A stunning opener, which starts off softly with 'And I had a dream/about my my old school/and she was there all pink and gold and glittering', and those three lines just leave me feeling nostalgic already, as Florence thinks about her past. The music swells into the wonderful chorus, making this song the perfect opener.
Shake It Out - The second single released thus far, and lots of fun to listen to. A far more 'dancy' tune then some of the others, even with the really dark lyrics. The deep organ sound at the start really carries the song along. 'It's always darkest before the dawn...' Florence calls, as the song picks up, and the song's central thought it revealed, albeit through an exciting tune. Great song.
What the Water Gave Me - The first single, and possiblity my favorite Florence track of all time. The song, at over 5:30 long, is a winding stunner, as Florence croons about drowning herself 'Cuz they took your loved ones, but will return them in exchange for you'. She explains why she must die, and that 'she's a crueler mistress, and a bargain must be made'. Powerful lyrics, powerful vocals, haunting melodies, and amazing music tops my music list for quite awhile.
Never Let Me Go - The beginning of the track confused me for a minute, before I really started getting into this one. A rather slow one from Florence, opening with a soft piano track and only faint drums to carry it along, alongside loads of harmony from Florence, and a loving, sweeping chorus.
Breaking Down - Starts with what sounds like a harpsichord, with a bouncy drum track, and never lets up from there. I was reluctant at first, but the harpsichord sounds proved addicted, and I'm really loving this song now. The echoing sound from Florence's voice in this one is wonderful!
Lover to Lover - Easily one of the most dance-worthy songs on the album, it sounds quite a lot like an old gospel song, which Florence's giant voice fills perfectly. The jazzy piano and the clever harmonies work wonders.
No Light, No Light - The opening of this one really kept me on my toes, as I had no idea where this one was going. The verses are so different from the chorus, but they work together wonderfully, in a big, open-space, song.
Seven Devils - Oh my god, one of the most haunting songs I've ever heard. One of my favorites. The lilting, creepy, fearful edge of the piano and strongs, conbined with a urgent sense in Florence's voice equates to one of the most stunning songs on here.
Heartlines - An aching song of what seems like some sort of love, as Florence sings over a thrumming bass line and pounding drums, with a sparkle of harp on the edges. The powerful chorus is just amazing!
Spectrum - Opening with a soft humming high violin note, as Florence sings softly over the soft music. Florence's wodnerful voice really shows its range, as we move into the throbbing chorus, settling down as the song moves to a close.
All This and Heaven Too - A quicker song, opening with sparse intrumentals, before moving into a driving chorus, as the background vocalless singing carries the song beautifully.
Leave My Body - Opens creepily, and when Florence begins to sing, the song continues the almost creepy edge, but cools off a bit, intul we pull into the haunting chorus, as Florence croons 'I'm gonna leave my body, I'm gonna lose my mind...'
Remain Nameless - Opens with a deep bass line, computerized drum beats, and echoing, haunting vocals. Sparse intrumentation, with a creepy drive the entire time, as Florence sings about how she wishes to 'remain nameless... Live without shame...". The music keeps to a stready thrum in the background during much of the song, focusing mostly on Florence's vocals and lyrics. This one has a great dance beat though, and really manages to be amazing.
Strangeness and Charm - Relentless voice, relentless music. Just plain fun, with a driving beat, loads of vocals, and a sweeping chorus. I'm glad I got the bonus tracks, especially because of this.
Bedroom Hymns - Really fun beat at the start, with a distorted electric guitar. Florence's vocals come in quickly, and carry the song on a long jaunty path. Definently has a religious feel to the song, as Florence sings about 'Jesus on the mind', and how she's 'already on her knees', as the song sweeps forward.
What the Water Gave Me (Demo) - A really interesting version of What the Water Gave Me. It starts with more of a synthesized song, instead of the sweeping music in the actual version, that makes this version sound more like a techno remix rather then a Demo. Fun nevertheless, but this one actually puts the emphasis on the chorus rather then the verses, which the actual song does in reverse.
Overall an amazing album. I'm so happy with it, and believe this is my favorite album this year.