fri 14/06/2024

Album: Florence + the Machine - Dance Fever | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Florence + the Machine - Dance Fever

Album: Florence + the Machine - Dance Fever

Lockdown brings out the pop-progger in Florence Welch

Florence + the prog machine

The title of Florence + the Machine’s fifth album, Dance Fever is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s unlikely that it will ever come to soundtrack anyone losing themselves and their inhibitions on the dancefloor. In fact, it’s unlikely that many will feel moved to dance to these tunes at all, unless their steps have been very heavily choreographed.

Gone is the spirited hippy with the fog-horn voice of “Hurricane Drunk” and “What Kind of Man”, and in her place there has appeared a considerably more measured artist who argues “in the kitchen about whether to have children”. Still, middle age catches up with all of us. Whether this necessarily requires a swerve into over-produced studio cleverness and pop-prog flavours with precious little wild release is moot, though. In fact, this is a question that Florence Welch raises herself when she reflects that “being clever never got me very far” on recent single, “Free”.

Dance Fever has a multi-layered, instrumental approach that lays down a lush wall of sound with hand-clapping percussion, plenty of synths and even the occasional violin. It’s all a bit proggy, at times a bit folky, very atmospheric and quintessentially English in many ways. Something that is emphatically reinforced by the album’s faux Pre-Raphaelite cover art.

At its best, Dance Fever reflects an almost Kate Bush-like approach to song writing and production but elsewhere, it could just as easily be accused of taking on the mantle of late-period Eurythmics. It could also be said to frequently lapse into self-obsession and to lack heart – which given what Florence has previously released, is a bit disappointing. Perhaps this is due the Covid-induced listlessness that has sapped more than a few artists of inspiration though? If so, let’s hope some sustained touring will reinvigorate her muse for next time’s visit to the recording studio.


This is the oddest review I have ever read. She has never claimed this is dance music. It's very clearly indicated in Choreomania what this is about. I don't care if people dislike something but it's bizarre when people don't understand something and make it a major point of their review. Unless it was an attempt to be clever. But it read more like you hadn't listened to this album or anything beyond the singles of previous albums.

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters