Bolton School Girls’ Division Newspaper


Florence & the Machine- a Review

This was supposed to be a gig review of Florence + the Machine playing at the AO Arena in Manchester on Tuesday 22nd November 2022. My friend and I had been looking forward to it for months; counting down the days until we could go and scream along to one of our favourite bands! Then came the bad news. Late on Saturday evening we saw the following post on social media:


To say I was gutted is an absolute understatement!

And so instead, I have chosen to review the latest album from Florence + the Machine: Dance Fever.

Made through successive lockdowns, Dance Fever is the fifth album from the band.

Just before the pandemic hit, Florence Welch, the lead singer, had been reading about the social phenomenon of ‘choreomania’. Also known as the ‘dancing plague’, it mainly occurred in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries and involved groups (sometimes thousands) of people dancing relentlessly until the point of exhaustion and even death.

This inspiration can clearly be heard in the track with the same title. Florence repeatedly sings:

I just kept spinning and I danced myself to death”.

The album opens with the track “King” in which introspective feelings of motherhood and relationship issues are explored. With feminist ideologies, Florence almost chants the lyrics:

I am no mother, I am no bride, I am king”.

The use of the male version of the monarch is interesting but nonetheless, the tune is very catchy and is certainly a strong opener.

My three favourite tracks on the album are “Dream Girl Evil”, “My Love” and “Free”.

With the first, the track is musically strong, making great use of the drums and guitars alongside Florence’s typically haunting vocals. The song appears to explore the expectations placed on women and the notion that we are either good or evil.


“My Love” is the third single released off the album. It starts with a slow, ethereal intro, but then its upbeat dance tempo kicks, contradicting its sad, poetic lyrics. This song is about the lyricist suffering from writer’s block during the pandemic:

I was always able to write my way out ……

Now I find that when I look down

Every page is empty

The song also addresses all her friends “getting ill” and the buildings being “emptied”. Despite the melancholic lyrics, the tune leaves you feeling positive and optimistic. Florence asks:

Do I wait for time to do what it does?

The answer is most probably yes!


I think in “Free”, Florence addresses her ongoing struggles with mental health and how music and dancing allows her to feel free. Like many of their songs, the lyrics are a real strength. She sings about how feelings pick her up and put her down “a hundred times a day”. It can also chew her up and spit her out, which I thought was an incredibly vivid image. Music is like a therapeutic saviour:

But I hear the music, I feel the beat

And for a moment, When I’m dancing, I am free

Personally, this really resonates with me, as I find playing my drums an effective stress reliever.

I’m not sure that this is my favourite Florence + the Machine album and I have to say that, in my opinion, there are definitely a few ‘skips’ on there. The songs that I love on the record are amazing, but overall, I would give it a solid 7/10.

By Izzy Martin

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