WORTH A LOOK?: ****
TRACKLIST: June; Hunger; South London Forever: Big God; Sky Full Of Song; Grace: Patricia; 100 Years; The End Of Love: No Choir
Third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was our favourite of 2015 and Florence And The Machine’s Glastonbury Festival set was our highlight of that year for us, so High As Hope has a lot to live up to.
- Read on for reasons including how the bombast of their last album is turned down
On opening track June Florence tells us: ‘The show was ending and I had started to crack’ and: ‘I’m so high, I can see an angel’. Later she implores: ‘Hold on to each other’ after observing: ‘And you were broken-hearted and the world was too’.
There are many themes running through the album but the lyrics seem more personal as the bombast of How Big is turned down several notches.
Recent single Hunger (see below) seems most personal with a sense that the drugs and adulation Florence may have sought in the past are not now what she is looking for.
On South London Forever she is outside the Joiners Arms looking back to when she was: ‘High on E and holding hands with someone that I just met’ wondering: ‘There can be nothing better than this’ and later: ‘But did I dream too big? Do I have to let it go?’
4th track Big God sounds like something from Westworld with its downbeat and haunting piano motif.
One theme seems to be highs and on Sky Full Of Song she urges: ‘Grab me by the ankles, I’ve been flying for too long’.
On Grace Florence is apologising to her sister for ruining her birthday.
It’s on final song No Choir where finding some happiness in the quiet away from touring that the album seems to make most sense.
Florence sings: ‘And there will be no grand choirs to sing, No chorus will come in, And no ballad will be written, It will be entirely forgotten.’
We’ve quoted a lot of lyrics in this review and, for us, High As Hope is quiet, more contemplative and poetic than anything she’s done before. It’s the words rather than the music where this collection shines brightest.
There’s a sense also that now is not the time for celebrating but supporting one another in the face of adversity.
- Picture via Facebook courtesy Florence And The Machine. Tickets
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