Take a spin in her ma­chine

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

BIG­GER that’s the theme of Florence Welch’s sec­ond al­bum.

Every­thing she did so well on her ac­claimed de­but she has de­liv­ered again and then some. This new set of tunes has been pumped full of baroque pop steroids and cranked up to 11.

Cer­e­mo­ni­als is grand in sound and artis­tic scale. It’s so dizzy­ing that most of Welch’s con­tem­po­raries should fear it.

Fresh waves of tribal drum­ming give the al­bum an or­ganic pulse while other­worldly or­ches­tra flour­ishes pro­pel the songs into the strato­sphere.

As al­ways, it is her unique, heart­melt­ing voice that hits the home runs.

She spins wide and wild tales; brassy, soul­ful and ro­man­tic. The Welch brew is a de­li­cious kind of mu­si­cal voodoo.

The truly lav­ish and splen­did thing about this al­bum is the fact al­most ev­ery song has a spe­cial ‘‘ mo­ment’’ that may leave lis­ten­ers awestruck.

Good modern al­bums tend to have a few songs that push tin­gling sen­sa­tions down spines, but not ev­ery sec­ond sump­tu­ous song.

The al­bum jumps off with the high drama bal­ladry of Only If For A Night.

Her first lyric: ‘‘ And I had a dream about my old school . . .’’

She picks up where the last al­bum left off and ex­pects the lis­tener will be keep­ing up.

This song re­calls vin­tage Tori Amos in the best pos­si­ble fash­ion.

Then there is the pow­er­ful, thun­der­ous, the­atri­cal and rol­lick­ing What The Water Gave Me; a con­tender for al­bum favourite.

Her re­strained re­frain in the verses, ex­plo­sion into the cho­rus, the spook­i­ness of the slide gui­tar and the pit­ter pat­ter of plucked melodies. Love it.

No Light, No Light is an­other crack­ing tune that starts qui­etly with a fil­tered rhyth­mic loop, then drops into an an­gelic melody, adds a dash of harp and then, af­ter all the prep work is done, she fi­nally pounces!

It’s not tricky song­writ­ing nec­es­sar­ily, just per­fectly ex­e­cuted. Welch worked with Paul Ep­worth at Abbey Road on two- thirds of the al­bum’s songs.

Don’t know Ep­worth by name? He’s writ­ten and recorded chart- top­ping, award- win­ning mu­sic with ev­ery­one from Bloc Party to Kate Nash. He also co- wrote and pro­duced Adele’s world con­quer­ing Rolling In The Deep. He’s got the mi­das touch.

Not sur­pris­ingly, they are a great duo. His im­pec­ca­ble stu­dio skills, her nat­u­ral, ef­fort­less vo­cal abil­i­ties and earthy style. It’s sim­ply heav­enly.

Welch has a black belt in drama and Cer­e­mo­ni­als is her grandiose take on in­die pop mu­sic. She sucks lis­ten­ers into her vor­tex. Re­lent­lessly im­pres­sive.

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