How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful *
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How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful *

Artist: Florence + the Machine

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Label: Island (Label)
Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful *
# Song Title   Time
1)    Ship to Wreck
2)    What Kind of Man
3)    How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
4)    Queen of Peace
5)    Various Storms and Saints
6)    Delilah
7)    Long & Lost
8)    Caught
9)    Third Eye
10)    St. Jude
11)    Mother
 

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is the third studio album by English indie rock band Florence and the Machine, released on 29 May 2015 on Island Records. After returning from her year-long hiatus from music, frontwoman Florence Welch returned to configure How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, recording material that dealt with personal conflicts and struggles. In comparison to their last two efforts, the album is much more refined and stripped-down instrumentally, and incorporates a mixture of musical influences such as folk, blues and gospel.

Performer Notes
  • Recording information: Angel Studios; The Pool, London, UK; Urchin Studios, London, UK.
  • The much-anticipated third studio long-player from Florence Welch and her mechanically inclined companions, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful arrives after a period of recalibration for the spirited English songtress. Arriving three-and-a-half years after 2011's well-received Ceremonials, the 11-track set, the first Florence + the Machine album to be produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay), eschews some of the bombast and water- and death-fixated metaphors of Lungs and Ceremonials in favor of a more restrained sonic scope and an honest reckoning with the dark follies of your late twenties. This change is most notable on the workmanlike opener "Ship to Wreck," a shimmering, open road-ready folk-rock rumination on the ambiguity/inevitability of post-fame self-destruction that, unlike prior first cuts like "Dog Days Are Over" and "Only If for a Night," feels firmly rooted in the now. The bluesy (and ballsy) "What a Man," the propulsive and purposeful "Delilah," and the gorgeous title track impress the most. Instead of building to a fevered crescendo, as is the Flo-Machine way, the latter cut, a transcendent, slow-burning, chamber pop gem, dissolves into a simple and elegant, yet still goose-bump-inducing round of horns, and is breathtaking without knocking the wind out of you. ~ James Christopher Monger

Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "The tension makes for a sexy record that sticks to some familiar themes: a woman wrestling with lovers and emotions, often with biblical allusions, liquid-courage assists and a near-violent intensity."

Entertainment Weekly - "[H]er voice remains a galactic force capable of swallowing entire planets whole."

Billboard - "[S]he hasn't stripped all the ornamentation from her cathedral of sound and become a folky confessional songwriter. But she is resorting less to abstract, lofty imagery and speaking with a more frank immediacy."

NME (Magazine) - "Overflowing with stately songwriting and lyrical craftsmanship, HOW BIG, HOW BLUE, HOW BEAUTIFUL makes for a restrained but joyful return..."

Paste (magazine) - "Welch finds clever ways to enrich her bewitching blend of alt-pop, soul and art-rock-wringing out her usual quota of widescreen melodrama, but without the overwrought theatricality that dragged down much of her previous work."

Format:CD (0 Disc)
Country:USA
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:1 June, 2015

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