Florence + The Machine - 'Dance Fever' reviewed ★★★★


Emily Eavis should give Florence + The Machine a call again, 'Dance Fever' is a Glastonbury headliner-worthy album.

Florence Welch and co's first album since 2018's 'High as Hope' very nearly didn't make it - with the 35-year-old bandleader admitting challenges that arose amid the pandemic made her question whether she wanted to continue in music at all.

She told Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1: "There were so many moments where I had nearly given up on this record. There were so many moments where I nearly went, 'It just feels like the way that the world is, this is just too hard to finish.'"

You wouldn't have guessed that from how spirited and flawless 'Dance Fever' is; it's every inch reinvigorating with no signs of Welch's prowess dwindling.

'Back In Town' sees Welch experiment with a deep alto register in the vein of Lana Del Rey, unsurprising, given the 'Video Games' singer's producer Jack Antonoff is a co-producer and co-writer on 'Dance Fever'.

'Dream Girl Evil', meanwhile, echoes Fleetwood Mac's 'The Wheel', with epic spangly drums and retro production.

'Daffodil' opens with a giant gasp, before transforming into a Spaghetti Western, built for dusk on Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage - which they headlined back in 2015 - or a dusty Coachella night.

Country-tinged closer 'Morning Elvis' - which is produced by Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley - ends mood-shifting 'Disco Fever' on a tender note.

The band's fifth album is far from a disco record; away from the singles 'My Love', 'Heaven is Here' and 'King', this is a collection impossible to label, with elements of doom-pop, folk, country, electronica and post-punk thrown into the mix.

Like a Monet painting, 'Disco Fever' is an album rich with layers; you can return to it time and time again and still hear something different each time.

Rating 4/5

Stream 'Dance Fever' here: