Do you remember me? I wrote you two years ago when you killed my dog. I’m sure you don’t really remember this anymore, because it seems that you had a rough year (I imagine singing Aretha Franklin songs with Christina Aguilera at The Grammy Awards left no one unscathed).
Florence, you know how much I loved you and supported you above all. You also know that I had you under my skin like a first love. The problem, Florence, is that I can no longer defend you because you have betrayed me. Of course, I somewhat expected it. At Primavera, you were ostentatious. You shouted, you jumped, but you forgot the essentials, and it did not touch me nearly as much.
And then when the infamous Ceremonials arrived, I sunk into the deepest sadness. Florence, what happened to you? Where has your grace gone? Your ability to soar so high above everyone? You that I have revered for always doing too much, how could you confuse greatness and pomposity to such a point? When I listen to your new album, I no longer see this sorceress that brutally ripped out my heart with “Between Two Lungs”, but a weak copy of one of the most pathetic singers that Eurovision has ever known; a poor attempt at a cover of Paramore at the Fête de la Musique. Even worse: a Riverdance troupe show.
Everything here is too big, too great, as if you forced these notes down in a vase that was too narrow. Your theatrical flights that had me so conquered no longer take off or land as quickly. They rest nailed to the ground, the tips of the feet glued with the excess of the compositions (In passing, I’d like to thank Paul Epworth, who it seems has decided to transform everything he’s touched this year into stadium rock music).
The urgency that I sensed in you, this imperious need to get out everything in a mess, has transformed itself into consummation: no place for absence in Ceremonials, you wanted to put everything in it, even if it meant that pure beauty no longer had a place, for those small moments of grace on the edges to which I had habituated myself.
I hear your voice and I don’t recognize it anymore. The one that you knew how to push to it’s limits, the voice that you knew how to play with like a balloon that you inflate until it bursts, has become this instrument of permanent demonstration, this competitive tool without a soul.
Florence, yes, you have lost your soul, your innocence, your fragility, your elegance, your finesse, and your grace. You sacrificed them at the drugged up altar of pop culture and on turgid productions of excess. You made me tremble. Now you exasperate me. And for that, I shall never forgive you.
Translated by Amanda Burris