Album Review: Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Three and a half years since the release of their last album, Ceremonials, Florence + The Machine’s third studio album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful, is out and is hitting airwaves at full force.

I’m going to get straight to it and say that this band delivered a beautiful album. The album opens up with an 80’s style burst of energy called “Ship To Wreck,” which comes accompanied by a catchy hook and an equally amazing instrumental. Florence takes a note from her previous album with this track, as the lyrics follow a water theme.

On the subject of “Ship To Wreck”, Welch stated,

I was thinking about my own self-destructive side, and how you can make something only to tear it down. When you’re in that whirlwind, you often end up breaking the thing you love the most.

This also is a clever example of setting the tone of the remainder of the album as the album itself as the album is clearly a 50 minute confessional spread across 11 different tracks which is executed brilliantly.

How Big How Blue How Beautiful’s first single, “What Kind of Man,” is another great track which is accompanied by horns in the background that serve to only further express and emphasize Welch’s frustration on the track. “What Kind of Man” is an emotional ride as Welch recounts the suffering she has endured from an old lover. This is one of the more notable tracks on the album as her anger is equally mirrored in the instrumental. This is truly a powerhouse track.

“Delilah” uses a biblical allusion to the story of Samson and Delilah as a metaphor for betrayal. “Delilah” is a track about the emotional turmoil Welch endures as she awaits the call from a boyfriend and her attempt to overcome the feeling of betrayal.

“Third Eye” features some of Welch’s strongest vocals of the album. It’s a beautiful uplifting and energetic track accompanied by soothing back up vocals.

“Various Storms and Saints,” “St. Jude” and “Long & Lost” are a few of the more somber tracks on the album and each of which are tracks about a world falling apart.

The overall sound of the album is diverse. Although every song has its own unique sound, the consistency of the tone and lyrics are what transform Welch’s latest album into a novel.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is Welch’s most accomplished album to date. The amount of emotion pouring out of every track is what makes this album a strong contender. HBHBHB is a heart-felt album which clearly displays Welch’s growth as a singer and song writer. Unlike some of her previously released music, her vocals blend perfectly with every track. I’d very highly recommend picking up this album.

Announced earlier today via Billboard, Florence + the Machine claimed its first number 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. Since it’s release last week, it has sold 137,000 albums. Just another reason to pick up this album.

Notable tracks: Ship to Wreck, Delilah, and Queen of Peace.

YouTube video

You can catch Florence + The Machine on tour beginning this week, full tour dates below:

06-05 New York, NY – Randalls Island (Governors Ball)
06-09 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavillion
06-10 Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
06-11 Chattanooga, TN – Great Stage Park
06-12 Toronto, Ontario – Bestival
06-19 Scheessel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
06-19 Neuhausen Ob Eck, Germany – Southside Festival
06-24 Shepton Mallet, England – Glastonbury
06-27 Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Festival
07-02 Caen, France – Beauregard Festival
10-11 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-13 Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
10-14 San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena
10-16-17 Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
10-20 Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
10-21-22 Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre
10-24 Portland, OR – Portland Memorial Coliseum
10-25 Vancouver, British Columbia – Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
10-27 Seattle, WA – Key Arena


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