Album Review - Florence + The Machine - High As Hope

Words by Jess Sommerfeld - Cover Photo by @rcstills

In an age where female vocals have begun to be largely coined with sweet, Julia Stone esque tones (there’s only one Julia Stone gals), similar sounding melodies and heck even, lyrics - Florence Welch’s vocals are here once again to drive through the souls of listeners.

With 9 years under her belt, and 3 years since her previous album How Big, How Beautiful - Welch graces us with her fourth album High As Hope. Working alongside, new producer Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey/Kanye etc.) ultimately this album is an anomaly in the current state of affairs for pop music and as always, Welch’s soaring vocals accompanied with sympathetic yet entrancing lyrics and melodies captivate the listener. 

Downside of this album is that unlike Welch’s previous 3 albums, High as Hope lacks a certain direction and instead the listening may find them-selves meandering through, in and out of songs.

The subject matter of this album may appear to be heavier, more direct and purposeful, allowing for Welch to delve into a certain openness that may have lacked previously. Tracks such as Sky full of song and Hunger partner verses of power ballad substance with whimsical and air-filled choruses, in turn lacking depth.

Where this works however is in, South London Forever a track that captures the whimsical and wander-full mood, remnants of Welch’s 17-year-old self float to the top on this track acting as a memory piece focusing largely on the past.

Verdict for High As Hope - naturally, Florence and the Machine have created a completely mood inducing album full of life and vocals that deliver powerful and lush imagery. Understandably some may not be into the contrast of power ballad substance versus and whimsical, air-filled chorus lines though after listening through a couple of times – it grows on you. #bigfan.

Top tracks: Grace, June & Patricia (Welch’s ode to Patti Smith).