Dance Fever

  • Type: Music
  • By: Florence + the Machine
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Rock
  • Recommended by: TR L.
  • ISBN/UPC: 602445454143
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Orchestras, electronic dance tracks, mental health awareness, and…medieval dancing plagues?

“Dance Fever” is a delightfully strange album. It straddles genres of baroque pop, dark alternative rock, and electronic dance (including disco!). From the bombastic wailing of “King” to the whispering heartbreak of “The Bomb,” this album is compelling to the core.

While earlier Florence songs often hid beneath elegant metaphors, “Dance Fever” blends that dark romanticism of early albums with stark confessions that make you feel like a fly on the therapy room wall. Opening track “King” is what happens when an artist hiding behind grand symbolism gets a little too humorously self-aware of her romanticized isolation. “Girls Against God” starts, “What a thing to admit / that when someone looks at me with real love / I don’t like it very much / kinda makes me feel like I’m being crushed.” Or in “Free,” Florence discusses her anxiety this way: “Because it’s all in my head / ‘You’re too sensitive,’ they said / I said ‘OK, but let’s discuss this at the hospital.’”

Perhaps my favorite track is “Choreomania,” a song exploring anxiety through the metaphor of medieval “dancing plagues” – phenomena where crowds danced themselves to exhaustion, some to the point of death. Again, this song is full of phenomenal lyrics, immediately commanding your attention with the opening lines “And I am freaking out in the middle of the street / with the complete conviction of someone who’s never had anything actually really bad happen to them / but I am committed now to the feeling.”

All in all, “Dance Fever” is an example of what art can be at its best. It’s playful and witty. It goes to strange and wonderful places. And most of all, it is a brilliant example of the power that can come from daring to speak the things we are most terrified to say – that gorgeous gift of vulnerability.