Florence + The Machine: How Big How Blue How Beautiful | Album Review

Fri, May 29, 2015, 00:00


How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Florence + Machine

Island Records


Following the mainstream success of 2011’s Ceremonials album, a much-harried Florence Welch looked towards home in order to engage with real life.

It’s no surprise, then, that How Big How Blue How Beautiful is the equivalent of a calm breath of fresh air.

Not that Welch has traded in her signature boom-like songs for anything approaching acoustic intimacy.

Produced mostly by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Björk), this album has outbursts of brass (title track, arranged by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory), defiant pop (What Kind of Man), and the blast of guitar-flecked blues-pop that is the closing track, Mother.

Weaving around these are, perhaps, lesser songs such as St Jude and Caught, but HBHBHB is a brisk display of regained confidence and strength.