Florence + The Machine have always been known for their big, bombastic songs led by their equally bombastic lead singer, Florence Welch. Through their numerous projects they’ve always seemed to have a formula but on High As Hope and their previous album they seem to try to strip things back for a more intimate listening experience. So there are more ballads and the production tries to be more subtle, but there’s really only so much you can do to hold down a voice as powerful as Welch’s. Even when it feels like she’s being conversational, it’s at top decibel. With no better example than “Sky Full Of Song” which feels like it spends the whole song building up to a massive drop that never comes. It’s a strange feeling coming from a group that’s so good and so known for those massive choruses and anthems. They’re not gone completely but they’re not the focal point here. I might not find it to be their most compelling work ever, but it’s still vastly better than most other similar acts out there and that voice is as impressive as ever.
At seventeen, I started to starve myself
I thought that love was a kind of emptiness
And at least I understood then the hunger I felt
And I didn’t have to call it loneliness
Have you heard High As Hope? What’d you think about it? Do you think Florence + The Machine’s attempt to strip things back was a good choice? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.