Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Ceremonials CD 12 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records), Luv Luv Luv Records 00602527850139 602527850139
Ceremonials 2×CD 12 + 8 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records), Luv Luv Luv Records 00602527850146 602527850146
Ceremonials Digital Media 12 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 602527850139
Ceremonials (deluxe edition) Digital Media 20 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group)
Ceremonials (Deluxe Edition) Digital Media 16 Universal (plain logo: "Universal")
Ceremonials 2×12" Vinyl 6 + 6 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records), Luv Luv Luv Records 2784790 602527847900
Ceremonials Enhanced CD + CD 12 + 8 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) 278 481-9, 278 501-3 602527850146
Ceremonials CD 12 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records), Luv Luv Luv Records 2782808 602527828084
Ceremonials (deluxe edition) 2×CD 12 + 8 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records), Luv Luv Luv Records 2783315 602527833156
Ceremonials CD 16 Universal Republic Records B0016298-02 602527870434
Ceremonials Digital Media 12 Universal Republic Records
Ceremonials Enhanced CD + CD 13 + 8 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records), Luv Luv Luv Records 2785014 602527850146
Ceremonials CD 12 Universal Republic Records B0016297-02 602527870427
Ceremonials (Festival Edition) Digital Media 7
Ceremonials Enhanced CD + CD 13 + 7 602537079575 602537079575
Ceremonials (iTunes' deluxe edition) Digital Media 23 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group)
Ceremonials (Australian Limited Edition) 2×CD 12 + 10 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records), Luv Luv Luv Records 3722339 0602537223398
Ceremonials Digital Media 15 Island (imprint of Island Records, a division of Universal Music Group) [none]
(unknown)
Ceremonials CD 13 Island Records Group (Universal Island Records) 602527828084

Relationships

associated singles/EPs: Breaking Down
Lover to Lover
Never Let Me Go
No Light, No Light
Shake It Out
Spectrum (Say My Name)
What the Water Gave Me
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0002228356 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/381006 [info]
Wikidata: Q1930517 [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/qwcg [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Most Recent

Florence Welch's debut album of 2009, Lungs, lived up to the hype of a music press that had been utterly seduced by her harp plucks and tribal drum riffs, her otherworldly sensibility and her arresting vocals. She pushed us through fairy-tale dreamscapes and catapulted us through life's dramas with anger and beauty, her voice as strident, sharp and strong as a deftly brandished scimitar. Visceral, raw and passionate, Lungs was aptly named.

And so too is the follow-up, fittingly released on Halloween. The arrangements here are even more richly layered and majestic; they surge with strings and arrive backed by choristers, while the narratives are darker and prioritise the spirit over the corporeal. Lead single What the Water Gave Me, issued as a standalone cut in August, is brooding and windswept, its harp twinkling eerily in the ether. As Welch mournfully sings of being laid down with "pockets full of stones" before the track swells to a choir-bolstered climax of Emily Bronte 'n' Kate Bush proportions, images of her as John William Waterhouse's doomed, red-headed Ophelia can't help but swim before your eyes. It is magnificent - so it's hardly surprising that, despite not having a physical release, it managed to chart.

But as a taster it is misleading, for little comes close to either its elegiac splendour or its subtlety. The disturbing, discordant Seven Devils, with its lyrics about being "dead before the day is done", is at least as sinister. It resembles Heavy In Your Arms (perhaps this is a Twilight - or, bearing in mind those familiar scales, should that be Twilight Zone? - soundtrack waiting to be commissioned), but is as intense as a blow to the head with a broomstick. Forthcoming single No Light, No Light - drum-chased, harp-gilded and hook-jawed - recalls the likes of Cosmic Love, but its epic proportions are too much; while the anthemic opener Only If for A Night, a mix of bombast and ballast, is too ponderous.

Ceremonials, which sees Lungs producer Paul Epworth return but ignore all restraint, offers the pomp, but somehow not quite the power, of Welch's debut: this is all grandeur without any grace. The more weight and length (the average is five minutes) given to the songs, the less impact they have and the more wearied they leave you - it's probably best not to listen to the 20-track deluxe edition in one sitting. Having established herself as Florence, the songstress of craft and great emotion, it's a shame she's now allowed her machine to take over.