Best Albums of 2011: #18

Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials

After ignoring this English vocal powerhouse for long enough, I'm now convinced that Florence + The Machine is one of the best big pop acts out there right now. Not only does Florence + The Machine do what is required one of them as a radio-friendly pop group by writing some irresistibly catchy tunes, they surprised me by exploring some darker musical and lyrical themes on Ceremonials. Pulling in some lovely soul influences, Florence writes some pretty interesting spiritual ballads and that make Adele sound like a glorified teenage pop idol.

Furthermore, the interest in soul/gospel and spirituality justifies the enormous sound that the group puts out to me. The huge organs, pounding drums, and gospel choir arrangements might be a bit over-the-top for some, but in a year where I was left pretty underwhelmed by Coldplay's album that felt like a significant step backwards, Florence + The Machine have filled that hole in my soul for British pop that's not afraid to be big.

Best Tracks: "Shake It Out", "Spectrum"

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