***1/2 (out of four)
Undeniable facts about Florence and the Machine frontwoman Florence Welch:
>> Incredible, haunting voice
>> Natural, dramatic performer
Things I assume Welch never does:
>> Look anywhere but upwards
>> Close her arms
>> Speak quietly
Differences on the British group’s sophomore disc, “Ceremonials,” compared to its excellent debut, “Lungs”:
>> More echoing background voices. Is this an album or a ceremony? Oh, right, that title.
>> Less anger. (Worldwide success will do that to you.) Even the melancholy words of tracks like “Lover to Lover” soar with the catharsis of a woman who seems like she eventually will overcome any setback.
>> Fewer animal references. Which is good, because I was worried about her rabbit-sized heart being able to handle those dog days.