Archive for September, 2015

Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (music CD)

September 23, 2015


The listening public, are famously fickle and the talk is all [too much] these days of a certain tall, talented blond female singer. And I will be the first to sing her praises. Yet there is a galaxy of talent in the world, and almost lost in this Borg like assimilation of everything by the Swifties is the at least as talented, if regrettably less famed English singer-song writer, Florence Welch and her band the Machine.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is the third studio album by Florence and the Machine. Florence, not “Flo” please, has an instantly recognizable voice and writes and sings beautifully. And she is also a great show woman. But to compare her to the above artist is to compare apples to oranges.

This album is in my opinion Florence’s best one yet. Why? The lyrics are epic, as is the music, not Nightwish epic, but perhaps Muse epic, that is to say not outrageously overblown, but overblown just the same. Surely, this is not a bad thing. And I find it to be immensely entertaining as well as listenable.

Let us factor in the videos, oh, yes, videos, FATM, make videos which are noted for their somewhat avant-garde style and execution and which are entertaining and amusing. They are not for everybody, and mercifully they do not even try to be and refreshingly for us it is so.

Then there is Florence live, which happens rather a lot. These performances, to be found on YouTube, are noted for their high energy with Florence running barefoot about the stage whilst belting out her lyrics at the top of her lungs: BTW, “Lungs” being another great album of hers’ by the way.

Are there hits? Or, is it all obscure “Indie artsy stuff”. Hits abound, yes. Are they good ? Very. Will you recognize any? Maybe, or maybe not, depending what station[s] you listen to either online or over the increasingly pre-programmed airways. We live in the time of the tyranny of the play-list. Or, what I call the repeater radio station… with offices in NYC, Chicago, or San Fran… thus limiting “new music” to well, new music by presenters who can get away with a few tracks here and there. Too bad for you and me here in 2015…

Do I have Favs on this album? Indeed. What are they? The entire album is excellent, although I expect that “Ship to wreck” and “What kind of man” will be the ones to get a lot of airplay. I’d also suggest that you go to Youtube for Florence’s performances at Glastonbury and at the BBC’s Big Weekend[s].

So then, Florence and the Machine are not as big as Taylor, but then who is? So is Florence as good as is “TS”? Indeed. Indeed. Listen, and here for you at the WML.


bill littlefield

Autumnal equinox, 2015