Album Review: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence and the Machine

Posted at July 24th, 2015 | by Kamakshi Bhat | in

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful are probably the words I would have used to describe the Indie- Rock band: Florence and The Machine’s third studio album. Turns out, they decided to take matters into their own hands by giving their album this title. A self-explanatory title leaves the listeners of this band thrilled and delighted.



It is BIG when it comes to the overall music of the album and the strong voice of the lead, Florence Welch, transcends you to some other universe. Now, was it inspired by everything blue and beautiful? There is not a single doubt about that. The band had released their previous album, ‘Ceremonials’ in 2011, which went on to become No. 1 in U.K and NO.6 in the US.


According to Welch, ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful‘ is the “most personal” record of a breakdown she went through in her life. The band’s previous album “Ceremonials” was about death and escape or the idea of escape…but this album has brought a new change and is more focused on reality and personal experiences.


In simple words it’s a breakup record with complicated, beautiful lyrics, and indie rock sound, and of course their signature, Florence Welch’s strong out of the world vocals. In an interview Florence Welch mentions that, in the lead track, “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” the trumpets at the end of the song is what “love” is to her. It’s loud and messy and endless like the sound of the trumpets.


Their first single “What Kind of Man” is the going to becoming the new breakup classic. An indie-pop record with lyrics like
You were on the other side
Like always, you could never make your mind

And with one kiss
You inspired a fire of devotion
That lasted for twenty years
What kind of man loves like this?


Goosebumps. Trumpets. Fiery. Vocals.


That is how is this song can be described.


Ship to Wreck” their second single off of the album is a metaphor with water, which she says her producer told her the previous album had “enough of” but she managed to get one in.The track carries an upbeat bouncy sound while the lyrics talk about self- destruction, a kind of narrative she follows throughout the album. With lyrics like:
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?


Strong fearless vocals again as always.


Fans have been contemplating theories about how Welch may be fighting with her “Inner demons” which she often talks about in her narrative songs..and can be always seen growing as a singer- Songwriter.


This beautiful, personal, narrative like album is a huge step up for the band. With it’s never-ending depth into the complexity of human emotions and relationships, album surely gives you a feeling that you are reading a journal of someone who has an extremely vulnerable emotional side. She has always been able to pump up her voice so fearlessly out of herself with all her heart, and she and the band have done more than justice to this wonderful album.


Kamakshi Bhat


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