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[Music] Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out



Florence + The Machine - Florence Welch

Thrill your day with this amazing song from Florence and The Machine titled “Shake It Out“.

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Shake It Out” is a song by English indie rock band Florence and the Machine, released as the first official single from their second studio album, Ceremonials (2011). It was written by Florence Welch and b, while production was handled by Epworth. The song was digitally released in Australia on 14 September 2011, and it was available in the United States on 19 October. It had its radio debut on XFM on 14 September 2011 in the United Kingdom. Welch revealed that the song was written within an hour and according to her it talked about shaking the regrets and the things that were haunting her.

Shake It Out” is a baroque pop and indie rock song with gospel elements which contains organs, bells and tambourines as its main instrumentation. The song received acclaim from music critics who praised Welch’s vocals and its anthemic nature. An accompanying music video for the song premiered on 19 October 2011 and it was directed by Dawn Shadforth. It showed Welch attending an old party in England, evoking references to Eyes Wide Shut. It received acclaim from critics who praised its imagery and compared it to videos by Annie Lennox and Madonna.

“Shake It Out” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.

“Shake It Out” was written by Florence Welch and Paul Epworth, while production was handled by Epworth. The song was recorded in London at Abbey Road Studios where the whole second album was finished. On 14 September 2011, Florence Welch went to XFM to premiere Florence and the Machine’s second single from their second upcoming album Ceremonials. Welch elaborated the songwriting process of the song adding that it can be compared to a really good hangover cure. She stated, “I wanted to just shake something out, shake out these regrets, shake out these things that haunt you. It was one of those songs that came in about half an hour and when you’ve got a hangover, it is almost like a hangover cure. You’re like, thank you! I don’t want everyone to think that I always write songs with a hangover! Cause I don’t, I really don’t. But with this one I have to say there was a bit of one lurking in my mind as I wrote it. It was like I was trying to write a hangover cure.” During an interview with MTV News she described the recording process:

“I think I came to the studio with a bit of a hangover, and it was one of those strange days where you’re not really sure where a song comes from. [Producer] Paul [Epworth] just had these chords on the organ, and they sounded optimistic and sad at the same time. And I was thinking of regrets, like, you know when you feel like you’re stuck in yourself, you keep repeating certain patterns of behavior, and you kind of want to cut out that part of you and restart yourself. […] So this song was kind of like, ‘Shake yourself out of it, things will be OK,’. [Because] sometimes I have to write songs for myself, reminding me to let it go. But then, the end refrain of ‘What the hell’ is really important as well, because you’ll dance with the devil again at some point, and maybe it will be fun. I’ve heard he does a really good foxtrot.”

Welch also said that “Shake It Out” was a “… magic one. I feel weird because I’m always talking about how I’m writing songs when I’m hung over most of the songs weren’t but ‘Shake It Out’ was. Like ‘Cosmic Love’ (it was) written when you’re not feeling too great. It became the ultimate hangover cure, and then it became about something bigger. Like trying to get rid of ‘hangover ghouls’.”

Shake It Out” is a four-and-a-half-minute baroque pop and indie rock song which contains “swelling, gospel-flavored pop, with churchy organ and pounding drums setting a cathartic scene for Welch’s fiery singing” in the lines “It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back. So shake him off!” Digital Spy’s Robert Copsey stated: “earthy drums are dressed with bells and tambourines before Flo chants ‘Shake it out, shake it out, ooh-waaoah!’ on the song’s anthemic and dangerously addictive chorus.” Consequence of Sound’s Alex Young concluded that the song “takes approximately 37 seconds to build up before a pulsating drum enters”. Allmusic’s James Christopher Monger commented that when the swelling guitars, organs, and strings, staccato percussion, and Florence Welch’s “air-raid siren of a voice” start in the song, begins a “battle over which one is going to launch itself into the stratosphere first.” In the song, Welch sings about dancing with a devil in the lyrics “It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back”. Lewis Corner of Digital Spy found references to “exorcism of demons and regrets with a backdrop of village church organs and ritualistic thuds and jingles courtesy”, while Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork Media found lyrics talking about “getting past one’s troubles.”

Rolling Stone’s Jody Rosen wrote, “‘Shake It Out’ is a treatise on heartbreak and spiritual rebirth. I am done with my graceless heart/So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart, she cries, over guitars and keyboards that heave and chime. This is the sound of a human turbine – a wind machine.” In his review of Ceremonials, Rob Harvilla of Spin wrote: “Consider rapturous call to arms ‘Shake It Out,’ a feast of droning organs and concussive drums that begins as an assassination/martyrdom attempt, throwing Flo to the clichés instead of the lions: ‘It’s always darkest before the dawn,’ ‘Damned if I do and damned if I don’t,’ ‘At the end of my rope,’ ‘It’s a shot in the dark,’ and all-time Catholic-hymn classic ‘It’s hard to dance with a devil on your back.’ Yet she rips the throat out of every line with that bazooka alto, turns even the banalities into profundities.”

On the Triple J Hottest 100 list, “Shake It Out” was ranked at number thirteen. On Slant Magazine’s year-end list of Best Singles of 2011, “Shake It Out” was ranked at number thirteen. The writers of the website further commented, “If lyrics about freedom, overcoming regrets that have been collected ‘like old friends here to relive your darkest moments,’ and the simple truth that it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back doesn’t move you, then perhaps the final 60 seconds of ‘Shake It Out’ will, which forsakes language altogether and builds to a cacophony of bone-rattling organ, tribal percussion, and intersecting vocal parts that find Florence Welch finally succumbing to her demons and having drinks in the dark at the end of the road with the rest of us.” At the 2012 NME Awards on 29 February 2012, “Shake It Out” won in the category for Best Track.[citation needed] At the 2013 Grammy Awards, the song was nominated in the category of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. In 2019, Pitchfork ranked the song as the 174th best song of the 2010s.

The song debuted at number 36 on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart on 22 November 2011. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Shake It Out” peaked at number 72 for the week ending 18 March 2012. The single became Florence and the Machine’s fourth top twenty single in the UK Singles Chart after “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up), “You’ve Got the Love and “You’ve Got the Dirtee Love”. It has sold over a million digital copies in the US as of October 2012. The single reached Number 12 in the UK in 2011 and as of July 2018 it has shifted 598,000 copies, combining streaming and sales. 25 million have streamed this since records began in 2014.

On 3 October 2011, the video for “Shake It Out” premiered on the band’s official YouTube channel. It features Welch wearing a red gown and singing while attending a 1920s-era masked ball, evoking references to works such as Eyes Wide Shut, The Great Gatsby and “The Lady of Shalott”. Welch described the video saying, “Think of a psychedelic 1920s dress party with a demonic twist. Possession meets The Great Gatsby.” She further described the direction of the video “We were kind of going for a sort of ‘Gatsby at West Egg’-style house party but with maybe slightly ritualistic and sort of satanic undertones and séances. That was such a fun video to shoot, for me especially, because I had all my friends down there, and they all came and we all got to dress up and do a casual séance in this beautiful art-deco mansion. It’s basically a party house; there’s one room which was purely just for cutting flowers. My best friend is sitting with me in the tree at the end of the video, and we just got to hang out in a tree for a while. It was really fun.” It was directed by Dawn Shadforth who previously directed the video for “Drumming Song” and it was shot at the Eltham Palace, London.

Michael Roffman of the website Consequence of Sound, compared the video with the work by Madonna because of “the hazy cinematography and the choir-like theatrics.” Entertainment Weekly’s Kyle Anderson praised the video calling it a “five minute technicolor blast” and praised the fashion used in it as well as the references to Eyes Wide Shut. Andrew Martin of Prefix Magazine wasn’t satisfied with the video saying “the track’s music video is still an over-the-top affair filled with Old World imagery and glitter-covered dresses and suits. But it’s not quite as outrageous as it could have been, even if things do get really dramatic at times. I guess I was picturing something more arena-sized, though maybe that’s because the track is so goddamn huge.” RJ Cubarrubia of Billboard wrote that “although the video feels somewhat dark and mystical, like a secret society meeting with unsettling masks and a slightly possessed Welch, the vibe is ultimately joyful and inspiring, with the party guests and Welch visibly bursting with happiness by the video’s end.”

Larry Fitzmaurice of Pitchfork Media said, “the video is cinematic and features a really weird party where people are wearing masks.” Katie Hasty of HitFix compared the video with the works by Annie Lennox and added that “the imagery will leave a mark on fans and aspiring fans to boot.” Leah Collins of Dose also compared the video with Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass”. Spin’s Marc Hogan wrote, “the video doesn’t have the clearest plot, [but] it does depict Florence Welch dancing with masked, formally attired men, a visual that sparks comparisons to the posh orgy of Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut, but a bacchanal does not break out. Instead, a white-dressed Welch escapes to the woods, while a red-dressed one parties inside with some seriously creepy people. ‘I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t,’ she sings.” – Wikipedia

With your headset slugged on, thrill your day with this amazing song and don’t forget to share with us here at All Naija Entertainment on what you feel about the song via the comment section below… . . . .

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Some Quotable Lyrics

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around
Get Full Lyrics Here

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