I’m listening to Florence + The Machine’s Ceremonials album with my Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. Stock earpads replaced with leatherette Brainwavz ones. “Only If For a Night” filters in through the darkness. It echoes. It’s ethereal and haunting. I’ve never listened to this song with headphones this good, and I’m noticing this snappy percussion in the background that’s very faint. At first I thought it was a glitch in the disc rip, but listening more carefully I realized it was part of the music, and whoa! I’ve listened to this song countless times in my car and I’ve never heard that sound before.
The same rings true for the other songs as well. The echoes in “Never Let Me Go” make it sound like Florence is in a giant, empty amphitheater. Her voice rings so clearly and I can hear the way she trembles at different parts.
“Breaking Down” sounds even more like it’s being played off an aged vinyl, with Florence singing through a retro mic.
On the bonus disc of the deluxe edition there’s a track called “Remain Nameless”. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of it. As soon as it starts, though, there’s this bass that hums in different parts of my ears that has me mesmerized. Florence sounds like she’s in a smaller venue, singing alone to me. And when the slow snapping starts, it adds to the hypnotic vibe of the song.
“Strangeness and Charm”. Oho. That song already sounds like exotic seduction to me without the expensive headphones. But these make everything sound much more present and alive.
I can’t talk about Ceremonials without talking about “Bedroom Hymns”. It’s an audiogasm. Eargasm? It’s frikkin hot is what it is. That driving percussion and heavy bass, the wild abandon in Florence’s voice during the chorus, and the sexy, softer verses… Unnnggg…
I don’t even know the main purpose for writing this post. It’s partially a review of the listening experience with these headphones, and partially a review of some of the songs on the album. Maybe “review” isn’t the right word… It’s more just sharing an experience. *shrugs* Take it how you will. I’m not being particularly critical. I’m just enjoying the music.