How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

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Florence Welch’s distinct voice creates the sort of dramatic, emotion-filled music that makes me wonder if she really makes film, and I'm just missing the video. The bombast of the album opener, "Ship to Wreck,” the sadness and melancholy of "Long & Lost," and the gospel singers and string section fill the spectrum of emotion from triumph to defeat. The lyrics chronicle the existential ups and downs of life. On “What Kind of Man” she asks, “And with one kiss/You inspired a fire of devotion/That lasted for twenty years/What kind of man loves like this?”

On her first two albums Welch led with her voice and the rhythm section. OnHow Big, How Blue, How Beautiful the majority of songs rely heavily on guitar and bass to propel the music. She continues to allude to religious symbols including the crucifix and St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

Close your eyes while listening and let your imagination envision the theatrics, a unique personalized trip to a strange and wonderful production. (Republic)

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