Words by Brittany Norvell
Three words to describe this album – big and beautiful – how aptly named. Florence + The Machine have nailed their follow up to 2011’s Ceremonials. Produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Coldplay) and released June 2nd through Republic Records, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful delivers.
“Ship to Wreck,” the opening track, is a deeply personal epitome of experience. The upbeat song is a feeling we all understand – falling in love and screwing it up.
“And oh my love remind me, what was it that I said?
I can’t help but pull the earth around me, to make my bed
And oh my love remind me, what was it that I did?
Did I drink too much?
Am I losing touch?
Did I build this ship to wreck?”
Who among us can’t relate?
How Big continues with “What Kind of Man,” a sort of one-two pop punch that starts like an 80’s synth fog that breaks into a sound like something off The Lost Boys soundtrack sung by Joan Jett; it’s another big win and fan favorite.
Each track holds its own individual value, that being said, there are no bad songs on How Big. The title track is a grandiose musical ballad, while “Queen of Peace” opens with a stringed serenade that could be straight out of a Quentin Tarantino film. Then the stomp-clap beat of the tambourine takes over, thundering as fast as a heartbeat during a heated lovers quarrel.
The pace of the album slows towards the end, but Welch’s epic voice does not waver. The vibrating passion that comes across in each track is nothing short of Stevie Nicks belting out “Rhiannon”, and nothing less than the raging rarity of her past vocals we have all come to know and love her for.
“How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”
© June 2nd, 2015
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