Florence + the Machine - Dance Fever

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Yeah, she kinda always moves in the same wheelhouse visually but the visuals for this album have felt particularly... dusty. Damp and mouldy and moth eaten. I've kinda hated it. The weird lighting, the dark backgrounds, the tarps and curtains masquerading as couture. There's a weird staleness to it; it looks like how a charity shop smells. It's not so much witchy as much as it is... elderly. I think she could definitely use a fresh eye in terms of how this stuff is presented. It doesn't need to change at its spirit but the delivery is really, really tired at this point.
 
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I don’t know… I feel like this era, musically and visually, has been her very knowingly giving “one last hurrah” to her original scrapbook of influences and having lots of fun with it. Arguably it’s fan-service, but I think she had some “what if…”’s she wanted to revisit as well. I think it’s been mostly successful and I’ve certainly enjoyed it all, however I don’t need to see it from her again, in this form, for a very long time. The videos were largely wonderful, to be fair.

Also, the moth-eaten couture was absolutely intentional, given that she frequently referenced Mrs Havisham and other Victorian spectres, and was at least a different spin on “witchy” than her previous forest nymph aesthetic.

With time, I think ‘King’ feels like the most accomplished moment from this album, and one of her very best. I’d love for her to continue to lean into that sound.
 
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I liked the videos but every “still” image from this era has been a little awkward. It’s not even the concept only, which does feels a little tired with “tarot!! Witch!!!”, but the production itself feels so… plastic? It kinda looks like a school play project. There’s nothing really imaginative happening and the whole “core” of Fashion, Lightning and Poses are pretty much… idkkkk basic?

Interesting she’s still in the mood of the album thought. “A new song is coming to the dance fever universe” doesn’t strike me with “full re-release” but stranger things have happened.
 
I adore Florence and her witch style and especially connect to this childlike look back to the magic of real life during the pandemic. When I think about the styling of this era, the root feels like the Big God video. The glorious Autumn de Witch aesthetic scaled up to Ceremonial sizes. Given the 10 year anniversary of Ceremonials, this referencing felt more earned. Musically, the sense of pausing and looking back to more, bombastic times, made certain lyrical moments hit extra hard (Mourning Elvis for her best album closer?). In the styling, I see both the fan service and that she seems to really have fun with it all, but it can be repetitive and expected. I am also excited for us to depart this universe when she's ready and travel a little further out of her traditional orbit, especially collaborator wise.
 
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