ALBUM REVIEW: Florence and The Machine – Dance Fever – Polydor Records

Like a lot of us out there, the lockdowns during the pandemic gave Florence Welch a lot of spare time to kill. When reading about the UK during the middle ages, Welch discovered ‘choreomania’ or dancing to exhaustion or even death, and thus became the soul theme to the band’s fifth album Dance Fever (Polydor Records). Now, some thirteen years since the act’s debut album, Lungs, Florence and The Machine have become a household name, having headlined grand festivals such as Glastonbury, and the real question is where can the group go from here.

The answer to that question is answered completely from the moment the first song ‘King’ begins; to go intimately personal in their music. ‘King’ starts the album off with a very stripped back approach, having primarily a beating drum filling the area as Welch repeatedly croons “Cause I am no Mother, I am no bride, I am a King” as almost a mantra to herself, to distinguish Welch as not just her nuclear family role, but as a unique person, more than that a ruler. The aforementioned repetitive drum beat and minimalistic instrumentation create a spotlight on Welch’s voice and in turn the lyrics she spins throughout the powerful song.


The highlight of the album is undoubtedly ‘Dream Girl Evil’, conjuring up sounds reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac. Eloquent strings fill the space building up the energy as if the band are narrating a mighty battle. “Make me evil, then I’m an angel instead, at least you’ll sanctify me when I’m dead” Welch belts in the chorus, as per the last song, strong words attacking patriarchal values that society holds. Carrying on the theme of the album, the music builds to a crescendo, imitating choreomania. The energy resonating throughout is palpable and will undeniably be something incredible to witness performed live.

Closing on a somber note is ‘Morning Elvis’ as Welch recollects her memories of plans of visiting Graceland but being unable to due to being hungover. Having started her sobriety in 2014, the ballad is performed in a mournful tone. Having been unable to visit an influential place due to her demons, Welch laments on how she wished for a trapdoor to appear beneath her.


Where some artists would have chosen to go bigger and bigger, ultimately jumping the shark. Florence & The Machine decide to go against the herd with Dance Fever weaving an intimate, personal album delving deep into Welch’s life. The result is phenomenal, after listening through Dance Fever, it feels almost as if you have ventured forth on a journey of self-discovery. It is from this album that illustrates how much of a special group they are. The skies are the limits for Florence & The Machine.


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9 / 10