Florence + The Machine Delivers an Emotional Rollercoaster on “High as Hope”


Provided by: https://www.billboard.com

Florence Welch is the lead singer of Florence + The Machine.

Jacob Coggshall, Staff Reporter

Florence + The Machine aim for Florence Welch’s most personal and emotional album yet on their discography with “High as Hope.” Overall, the album hits the mark perfectly with deep emotional cuts about Welch’s past and childhood. As usual, her vocals are unparalleled. There is also a solid sense of uniqueness between the songs. However, some tracks are weaker than others and slightly fall short.

“High as Hope” is a major step up from their last project “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” which still rose above other artists in the Indie Pop genre, but missed in many categories for most people. In comparison to Florence’s most critically acclaimed sophomore album “Ceremonials,” this project doesn’t quite reach the level of epicness that “Ceremonials” hit.

The album opens with a track titled “June” discussing love and why we all need each other. Some lyrics indirectly mention the Pulse Nightclub shooting, since the tragedy also occurred in June. However, it comes across to be one of the least memorable songs on the track listing. Quickly followed is one of the high points of the album, “Hunger.” This song delivers the message “we are all hurting and striving for something” rather well. She opens the song with the lyrics “At seventeen, I started to starve myself.” This is the type of personal content she delivers consistently throughout “High as Hope.” The anthem “South London Forever” seems to be the blandest song on the album. The vocals and instrumentation aren’t bad by any means, but just seem to be a step below compared to the other songs on the album.  

The next stand out track is a heartfelt, piano-driven ballad “Grace.” Welch talks about her relationship with her sister Grace and it’s almost structured as an apology letter to her. Keyboardist and pianist, Isabella Summers really shines in this track with beautiful backing piano. The album ends on a major high with “No Choir.” The track starts with the line “And it’s hard to write about being happy. I find that happiness is an extremely uneventful subject.” The song is where the album’s emotional effect truly peaks and is an excellent conclusion to the project.

Overall, “High As Hope” is a truly beautiful album and is one of Florence’s best yet. I would give the album an 8.5/10. Florence + The Machine doesn’t quite reach the level of  “Ceremonials” with this effort, but still is certainly memorable.