Florence + the Machine is back with their fourth studio album High as Hope, and it is as excellent as everything they’ve done before. Florence Welch, lead singer, continues to impress with her outstanding vocals while the band provides the fuel to her fire. This group always sounds in perfect harmony, thanks to each member: Isabella Summers, Robert Ackroyd, Tom Monger, Loren Humphrey, and Cyrus Bayandor. Florence continues to reach greater stardom with each move they make and this album is just further proof that they aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. High as Hope is easily a five star album, containing a modest ten tracks, but they are honest and revealing as well as phenomenally put together.
‘June’ - High as Hope begins with a slow song which eventually builds into a melodic trance led by Welch’s superior vocals. ‘June’ gets this album on the ground, running, with its excellent combination of music, voice, and lyrics before it jumps quickly into the next track.
‘Hunger’ - This song starts so fast after ‘June’, you have to take a moment to make sure one song ended and a new one has begun. ‘Hunger’ has a classic Florence + the Machine vibe but with a more advanced, well aged sound. The cheery music lies underneath lyrics about addiction and a realness that only Florence Welch could display.
‘South London Forever’ - We go back to a more mellow feel on this song with Welch narrating a story through her voice, sailing through the notes with ease. By the chorus, we get an almost oldies vibe from the background music taking ‘South London Forever’ to the next level.
‘Big God’ - This track is excellent, other then the Grudge girl sound Welch makes at the very end, that’s just a personal issue. Our favorite part of this song, other then Welch using her lower register, is the piano introduction which plays, hauntingly, throughout the track.
‘Sky Full of Song’ - Welch begins, here, almost acapella which sounds glorious before the music joins her adding to the power of her voice. The background never gets too big, making this a very Welch focused song fitting the lyrics perfectly.
‘Grace’ - This is one of those tracks where you wonder how much personal information artists are sharing with us, through their music. Welch sings about ruining a birthday party, here, but it’s not just an apology, it also shares how important the person is regardless of that birthday. Grace is loved.
‘Patricia’ - We follow the ode to ‘Grace’ with one to ‘Patricia’, but this time it’s not an apology but a song about how important a mentor can be. Welch doesn’t clarify who this person was in her life, but the lyrics clearly convey ‘Patricia’ as a very important person in her growth and who she is today.
‘100 Years’ - We get a mix of subtle instruments with Welch’s falsetto and a steady beat where she belts out the words. The combination, here, gives ‘100 Years’ an outstanding arrangement, taking us along for the ride.
‘The End of Love’ - The string instruments that introduce this song are elegant but sad, at the same time. It makes sense when the lyrics begin conveying a deep sadness about the end of something magical which can end more harshly then any other type of love.
‘No Choir’ - There’s nothing more to say, other then, this is the perfect ending to a wonderful journey, with the added bonus of a harp strumming gently under Welch’s ‘La da das’.
Final thoughts, once again Florence + the Machine deliver an outstanding album with a personal spin that takes us on an adventure both lyrically and musically. We would call ‘Hunger’ our favorite song of High as Hope but each song has strengths with zero weaknesses. It is definitely worth a download.