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How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Deluxe)

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iTunes Review

While Florence + The Machine’s first two albums featured frontwoman Florence Welch posed in a theatrical side profile with her eyes closed, this one finds her eyes open and staring straight into the camera. This sense of immediacy and alertness infuses the band’s most mature, cohesive album yet, starting with propulsive opener “Ship to Wreck.” Lush arrangements combine a rock band, strings, and brass with Welch’s volcanic, soaring voice, serving high drama on tracks like the driving “What Kind of Man” and the transcendent “Mother.”

Customer Reviews

YES

Honestly guys, it’s Florence + The Machine. I don’t even need to hear the album first to know it’s gonna be great.

What Came Before

As the album played on, I kept waiting--hoping--that the next song would be the one. That the next song would be THE song of the album, or more likely, just one of them. With Lungs, and the even better Ceremonials, Florence delivered four or five heart-rending tracks in between some that didn't quite equal their lofty heights, but still fit the album. Here, in How Big How Blue (etc), I can't put my finger on a single, great piece. Welch's voice is in top-form, more dynamic than ever, and still in a class of its own. It's flawed, it's chilling, and seemingly endless. Paired with an orchestra, she usually delivers perfection. But here, everything is marred by something that just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As soon as a track approaches something like Ceremonials' high points, it falls down because of a guitar riff or a purposefully off-key note. It's an angry album. The two previous albums were beautiful, haunting, celestial--all of those flowery adjectives that we all hate throwing around. But it's true. There was a certain angelic quality to them. Otherworldly even. How Big (etc) marks a low point, but even then it's not the worst thing I've heard. Just not what I expected, or wanted from one of my favorite artists. This is her breakup album, the one where she's supposed to be angry and sad and loud because love is hard and heartbreak hurts. Her music used to make me happy, and now it just makes me remember that the world isn't as big and beautiful as I wish it were.

Florence is a machine

There has simply never been anything in the industry like this band. Florence Welch will take this album to an entire new unseen dimension, and if it’s any comparison to the raw and undeniable genius of Ceremonials, then this will be a comeback for the ages. We are about to witness music history, lets all watch it unfold before us.

Biography

Formed: 2007 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Hailing from South London, Florence Welch writes songs blending pop, soul, and Baroque arrangements into a sound that earned considerable buzz. Florence + the Machine released their debut single, "Kiss with a Fist," on the Moshi Moshi label in June 2008. The critically acclaimed debut album Lungs followed in July 2009 and quickly became one of the year's most popular releases in the U.K., where Florence charted four Top 40 singles in less than 12 months. The songs gathered steam in other parts of...
Full Bio
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Deluxe), Florence + The Machine
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