Florence + the Machine Submerges Us in Big Beautiful Blue Music on ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’

Oh, Florence, how we missed you! After a too long hiatus, Florence + The Machine have released their third studio album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful . The title itself suggests a reflective, awe-inspiring, and observant tone, and lead singer Florence Welch admitted to NME that the record is her most personal yet.

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Her trials and tribulations between the second album and recording this one are chronicled on the album, including an on-again, off-again relationship and her drinking habits. In fact, her pal Taylor Swift, who is famous for her personal lyrics, was the one to tell Florence that she needed to write down her feelings on paper.

The first track “Ship to Wreck,” immediately lurches the reader into Florence’s chaotic world. The chorus “Did I drink too much/ Did I lose too much/ Did I build this ship to wreck” reveals to us the self-destructive nature she contains, especially when it comes to relationships. The accompanying music video exemplifies the volatile behaviors she has experienced in the past.

Lead single “What Kind of Man” also explores volatile relationships and the struggles of choosing a healthy partner. It has a spunkier attitude than “Ship to Wreck” and could possibly win the title of feminist anthem of 2015. “Third Eye” also has a festive attitude and is the most pop song on the record; it probably comes the closest on How Big of a song like “Dog Days Are Over.”

It’s been three and a half years since their last album Ceremonials, and the band’s growth is definitely noticeable. How Big is not as grandiose as Florence + The Machine’s previous albums, but the record is dominated by slower, more contemplative songs. The strongest of these ballads is the hauntingly beautiful “St. Jude,” a minimally produced piece that features delicate echoes and the vulnerability of Welch’s voice. “Maybe I’ve always been more comfortable in chaos,” she sings. The music video is beautifully filmed and reflects the song’s vibe perfectly.

Title track “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” “Queen of Peace,” “Various Storms & Saints” and “Long & Lost” showcase the sheer strength and beauty that is Florence Welch’s voice. However, after being away for a few years we anticipated a few more pop songs that Calvin Harris could remix, since he and Welch make such a great team.

Closing song “Mother” ends with an rock ‘n’ roll edge and some cool, fuzzy electric guitar. It’s a great song and indicates that between the introspection and ballads, Florence + The Machine can still get down and dirty.

Pick up How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful here and listen to the tracks below!

Featured Image by Jason Persse via Flickr.

Album Art courtesy of the Artist.

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