Florence + the Machine releases a spotty album

Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence + the Machine, seen on the cover for the bands new album.

Polydor Records

Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence + the Machine, seen on the cover for the band’s new album.

Andy Eyerman, Staff Writer

Florence + the Machine, an English indie group, released their fifth album on May 13, 2022. The album, “Dance Fever,” contains 14 songs and totals about 47 minutes long.
The first song, “King,” was released as a single on February 23, 2022. It used to get stuck in my head a lot and the bassline really stood out to me. After the bridge, violins and guitars can be heard. It is a small detail that I noticed and thought was good. Lead singer Florence Welch has a voice that always grabs my attention and it sounds good no matter what.
Up next is “Free,” which started with a quick, almost electronic sounding, beat. At a few points, a violin can be heard in the background. I could tell that the band paid lots of attention to detail on the album. I didn’t expect a song so upbeat, but it ended up being very catchy. The only part I didn’t really like was the background of the bridge, which just sounded off. Once again, Welch’s voice is spectacular, especially because so many Florence + the Machine songs have such a different sound. All of the songs are tailored to Welch’s voice perfectly.
After that, “Choreomania” plays. It started with a monologue, which sounded like Welch was telling a story. The song had a very daunting feel, especially with the lyrics talking about death. The last minute was the best part of the song, the rest was honestly just boring. It wasn’t a bad song, but it was not interesting enough to be memorable.
Next on the album is “Back In Town,” which threw me off because it is so much slower compared to the previous songs. Even in the beginning, the introduction took about 30 seconds and it felt excessively drawn out. It was a good song, but placed badly on the album. There was no real transition from “Choreomania” to this; it suddenly slowed down and got much more gentle and quiet.
Luckily, it got better with the next song, “Girls Against God.” The introduction was a few seconds long, but nothing compared to the previous song. It sounded like there were some sort of bells or chimes in the background with some guitar, which balanced really well with Welch’s voice. For about half the song the instrumental was very gentle and simple. I liked it, but I also really like how the second half had a much more full instrumental. More instruments being introduced made the song sound more whole. In the end of the song, the music got quieter and an evil laugh can be heard from Welch. It is the first big element of something scary or evil that the album focuses on. This is where the album starts to shift to a more haunting sound.
The next song, “Dream Girl Evil,” sounded almost like a continuation of the last song to me. The beat was catchy, and the lyrics felt very angry. I felt like I was listening to a song from a musical at some parts, which definitely made me cringe. After a while, the chorus felt repetitive and so boring.
“Prayer Factory” is next, but nothing can really be said about it. To me, it felt like an interlude; it just felt boring. Plus it was only a minute or so long, so there was hardly anything to it.
Following that is “Cassandra,” which ended up being one of my favorites on the album. Right from the start, it reminded me of “Atmosphere” by Joy Division. Around 3:25, Welch has a monologue. Normally I would think it sounds weird or out of place, but this one fit into the song well. It doesn’t sound awkward and is well mixed in with the sound of the song, plus the instrumental. Each chorus ended with the instrumental having a fuller sound. I noticed it on my initial listen and I felt like it was really good. It kept the song from getting overly repetitive.
Next is another cringe-worthy song, “Heaven Is Here.” It was a shorter song, only about two minutes. To me, it was like a bar scene in a Disney movie. The song itself was not bad; the ideas my mind associated with it were what ruined it for me.
After that is “Daffodil,” which definitely got stuck in my head. Right at the beginning there was a loud gasp, which was very attention grabbing. The beat picked up from the last few songs and also sounded a little bit mysterious. Welch’s voice sounded really good in this song, she sang pretty high and managed to do it well. The last 30 seconds were very loud, which sounded cool.
The whole album was inspired by angels and demons, which was obvious when paying attention to the lyrics. As a whole, the album ended up having an uncanny and creepy sound.
Another one of my favorites, “My Love,” plays next. It was released in March 2022, so I have already listened to it a lot and still like it a lot. The beginning sounded very sinister, which really helps add to the overall theme of the album. I don’t have anything bad to say about the song, I just really like it.
“Restraint” is after, but it is barely a song. Being only 47 seconds long, it made me feel like it was supposed to be threatening, but quite frankly I thought it was just boring. There did not feel like there was a point to it being included
Another one of my favorites, “The Bomb,” is what played next. It started off very softly, Welch’s voice matching with the piano in the background perfectly. Around 1:12, the beat drops off and Welch says “I’ve blown apart my life for you” which made me think that it sounds like a song about a toxic or abusive relationship. I really enjoyed this song, it was my favorite slower song on the album.
Lastly is “Morning Elvis,” which also starts very gently. In contrast to the last song, it sounds much happier even though they are both slower songs. The build-up to the chorus felt like it took a long time, but it was worth the wait because the chorus sounded really beautiful. I don’t have anything overly positive to say about the song, I mostly liked it just because it was not bad. The last 20 seconds had a clapping sound that is really weird in comparison to the strange and unnerving tones throughout the album.
A lot of the songs on the album had more potential, but overall it ended up being subpar. There are a few good songs, which I am glad about, but there are a lot that are just not good. It is definitely a disappointment to hear bad songs from an artist I really like. It sets my standards low for any of their new music, but hopefully the next album will improve again & be more like their older albums.