Florence + The Machine has always had a lovely, grand sound, with gorgeous vocals and amazing pipes. The lyrics are dark and brooding, yet the music soars to beautiful heights. It’s a unique sound that really makes them stand out as artists, a far cry from the copy-paste formulaic pop music scene.
In How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, the same gorgeous tone plays out across the album, leaving me breathless and exhilarated. The intimacy of the previous albums gave way to an even grander sound here, a big yet playful melody that provides a stunning backdrop for Florence’s vocals to shine. The feel of the music is polished, refined, akin to progression from previous albums.
But because of the grandness of the sound, almost orchestral in feeling, it leaves me feeling distanced from the music itself. The darker nature of the lyrics are now almost completely lost in the beautiful melodies, and the special dichotomy between lyrics and music is lost.
Granted, I still enjoyed the album immensely, but the lack of intimacy, the wideness of the sound, the polished nature…it doesn’t feel quite like quintessential Florence + The Machine. Still, it’s an evolution in sound I can get behind.