Florence + the Machine’s “Ceremonials”: Music review

I should like this Florence + The Machine album, “Ceremonials.” I really should.
It’s euphorically majestically epic, with Florence’s voice rising up from the lower ranges to a sonic boom soar, with lots of layered drums, instrumentation, and lush harmonies. Florence has an incredibly strong, accurate voice.
However, somehow it all seems a little too much. In the upper ranges, she drifts into Whitney Houston territory, and the harmonies and backing vocals often carry flavors of Motown, R&B and gospel. There’s nothing wrong with that, but those are not my favorite musical genres.
Take the chorus of voices singing “lay me down” in “What the water left me,” for example. This is the realm of the Spiritual. I certainly like that when I’m hearing the Appalachian “Down to the river to pray,” but mixing it into this kind of music isn’t the kind of musical choice I’d tend to take.
“Lover to lover” has Motown written all over it, from the vocal melody to the backing vocals to the drum beat to the chord progression.
Then on the other end of the spectrum she’s drifting far from existing cantons and traditional Americana sources, merging into something a little too hipster – listen to all those kettle drums on “Heartlines.”
I guess there’s nothing wrong, per se, with any of this, and the melodies are strong, the singing flawless, and many of the hook lines quite memorable. Yet the overall sensibility of the album skirts the edge of too many genres I’m not necessarily inflamed by. We’ll see if this one grows on me over time. I’ll still check out her other albums, too.

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