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

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + The Machine

#aotd is How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + The Machine. The album fits somewhere into the spectrum of Indie-Pop and Alternative Rock. If you’ve heard any of the band’s previous singles though you would already have a fairly clear idea of how this sounds, seeing as Florence’s tremendous voice is the driving force of 90% of the band’s material. This is totally fair as Florence’s voice and charisma is the band’s biggest strength and with a voice like that; it would be damn criminal to not let it be front and centre. Not that the band slouches by any means, the excellent use of brass instrumentation found on songs such as “Queen of Peace” is yet another factor which has kept them above their competition for so long now. The spectacle of Florence’s voice hasn’t lost any of its flair and is at its best on the slower track “Various Storms & Saints” where she is complemented by a gorgeous string section and a sombrely strung guitar. The leadoff single for the album “What Kind of Man” highlights a different side of Florence’s voice though, aggressive but triumphant in every sense of the word her dominating presence on this track paired with the rocking guitars is captivating. The biggest problem I had with this album was that all of its best moments were found in its top half. Not that the bottom half is bad, songs like “Caught” and the closer “Mother” are memorable, they just never reaches the heights which preceded them. Despite this, a good half of this album is some of the most well-produced and performed alt. rock/indie-pop you will hear all year and is not worth sleeping on.
Rating: 3.6/5

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