Album Review: Florence + the machine

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + the machine may give Taylor Swift a run for her money in the breakup song department.


Natalie Ditsler

The album was released June, 1st 2015 with a total of 11 songs. Florence Welch and taken a hiatus from music before recording the album.

by Natalie Ditsler, Staff Writer

Florence Welch is known for her soulful and booming sound, but with her newest album she has taken it to a much more personal and raw place, earning it 4 stars. It’s an entire album of breakup songs. Many of the songs apply to other situations but the feelings stay the same. What makes this album so different from others that have focused on breakups, is that it has a much more mature feeling. It’s philosophical and shows many different stages of pain.

The way the band arranged the music videos, makes it like a story. They call it “The Odyssey” and each music video is a chapter in the story. It tells the of various relationships she has and how each one gave her different types of pain, happiness and essentially, progress in the struggle she has trying to find herself. It shows the many downs she’s had in her life and how she has made it through each one, she gets back up every time she falls down. It’s inspiring and relatable. The songs don’t just apply to breakups, but to all sorts of difficult situations. (These music videos may contain sensitive content.)

Ship to Wreck starts off the album with raw emotion and bittersweetness. It is about how she would question herself and how she felt all this self hatred throughout her relationship. She continuously asks herself “Is this my fault? Did i bring this on myself?”At times it sounded sweet as if she was looking back on things but then it would become angry and raw again during the chorus as she began to question herself. The flow from reminiscent to angry is consistent throughout the song.

St. Jude is centered around Welch trying to find herself. She refers to a storm in this song along with Ship to Wreck to symbolize chaos in her life. She has tried to make things work but they just keep falling apart. The lyrics at the beginning of the song reflect this “Another battle never won. Each side is a loser so who cares who fired the gun?”. She says that she is learning from her mistakes and moving on but it’s still sad and painful. The song is emotional and angelic with the background singers, almost like a hymn. It reflects the struggle in understanding herself and life.

Queen of Peace is similar to Ship to Wreck in how Florence is almost yelling the chorus. The story is easier to see in this song. She talks about how she constantly has to break up fights and clean up after the person she loves. She compares herself to a king sacrificing his son to win a war and how he may have done the right thing but he loses his happiness along with the victory. She is saying that love isn’t enough to keep a person happy when they are constantly having to take care of another. She was a peace keeper and it wore her out.

What Kind of Man is the most angry song on the album. There is a lot more guitar and the background singing gives it an ominous atmosphere. Welch shows her angrier side and sings about a man who she knows isn’t treating her well but she cant help but keep coming back to.She recognizes this in the lyrics “But i can’t beat ya cause i’m still with ya.” Even though the song feels hopeless in some ways, it is also empowering. It inspires the will to push past obstacles.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful shares the same name as the album itself and really encompasses the bittersweetness of the whole album. It’s upbeat and probably the happiest song of the album. Welch is thoughtful and appreciative of the way things are in the world in this song. It isn’t perfect and happy but it is beautiful. The album as a whole was emotional and captured Florence Welch’s journey through her life and relationships well. It was relatable, unique, and relaxing to listen to while going about the day.