Florence and the Machine has always been a favorite band of mine. Once their new album, High as Hope was released, I had some pretty lofty expectations. Previous albums like Lungs and Ceremonies were rambunctious and melodic, filled with an energy completely unique to Florence Welch, lead singer and composer for Florence and the Machine. High as Hope was intended to be the mellow and minimalistic album of the discography. While still maintaining quality, less emphasis was placed on a big production.
Within the first two minutes of listening to the opening song “June,” I knew I was in for an emotionally vulnerable and poetic album. The second song on the track, “Hunger,” opens with the lyrics, “At 17, I started to starve myself.” The lyrics leave the listeners to take in all of the raw emotion expressed by Welsh — after the album released, Welsh posted on Instagram saying that the song was never even meant to be one. “Hunger,” was written as a poem that she later composed to music. This theme of poetic stanzas turned to relatively choppy lyrics continues throughout the entire album.
Many critique High as Hope for the seemingly disorganized song formatting and the inconsistent flow, but I find both of them charming and unique to Florence and the Machine as they’ve never been a conventional band to begin with. Leading the Indie-Pop genre, they have rarely fallen into over-formulaic musical styles.This album is just another example of their nonconformism to the genre. Florence and the Machine used this album to fuse composing styles, experiment with poetic lyrics and use the idea, “less is more.”
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