How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Florence + The Machine - How Big How Blue How Beautiful
Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2015 Ratings: #209 / 985
Year End Rank: #41
User Score
Based on 934 ratings
2015 Ratings: #35
Liked by 83 people
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Time Out London
It’s taken three goes but to my mind, ‘How Big’ is her first really great album.
Entertainment Weekly

How Big is Welch’s most accomplished album yet, primarily because she doesn’t rely solely on operatics to make herself heard.

No Ripcord

The greater the risk, the greater the reward. And I can think of no better reward than this album.

The Line of Best Fit

How Big How Blue How Beautiful is a cathartic, devastatingly honest personal diary set to music.

Pretty Much Amazing

Every song on How Big How Blue How Beautiful instead strives to be a thermonuclear warhead. And Welch’s struggle, with heartbreak and sobriety, is their emotional payload.

Consequence of Sound

With HBHBHB, Welch has added a considerable amount of feeling to her catalog, and it should go down as one of the year’s most well-crafted personal statements.


Overflowing with stately songwriting and lyrical craftsmanship, ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ makes for a restrained but joyful return, and a collection that will last long after Welch’s broken bones are mended.


It's not a radical reformation of Welch's style; she hasn't stripped all the ornamentation from her cathedral of sound and become a folky confessional songwriter. But she is resorting less to abstract, lofty imagery and speaking with a more frank immediacy.

Despite trying out new things, the songs remain huge – the kind of power that is only truly effective when pumped out to thousands of people in a field somewhere. It makes for her best album to date, with some of the catchiest hooks and melodies she’s ever conjured up. How brilliant.
Getting personal in her own way, on her own terms, ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ could well be Florence’s finest hour of all. Things are only going to get bigger from here on in.

The 11 songs on Beautiful resonate in a deeper way by varying the sonic palette and focusing her words inward.

The 405

How Big... showcases a more restrained approach, allowing for quieter moments in which Welch can thrive.

Three albums into their career, Florence and The Machine know what they’re good at, and how to deliver what their fans want. Such confidence and self-assurance, when it consistently produces good albums, is something to be celebrated.
This is a huge, sturdy record, built for arenas ... and it's richly and carefully enough constructed to endure the extensive exposure Welch's heartache is going to get over the course of this summer.
Under The Radar

Welch and company have produced a series of songs that truly match the singer's formidable vocals while providing the players plenty of room to shine.

Drowned in Sound
She’s gone from making an album that felt in constant peril of collapsing under its own weight to one that carries her predilection for drama with genuine confidence - for now, at least, that’s redemption enough.
If this is meant to be a transitional record – and, despite the halfhearted attempt to tone the theatrics down a notch, it certainly appears to be – it’s an album that nonetheless ends with a promising look ahead.
Rolling Stone
Finally, Welch is leaning hard into the classic rock and soul sounds her vocals always flirted with, like Ophelia in a Mondrian miniskirt.

She gets it occasionally on How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, and the results are brilliant, but the album too often focuses on the latter two-thirds of the album title at the expense of the first.


She’s as huge and commanding as ever on How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, the third album under the Florence and the Machine name, but the music that surrounds her is coupled with hints of restraint, making the record her sleekest and most gorgeous yet.

This attempt to reign in Welch's more histrionic tendencies yields mixed results, with some songs finding the sweet spot between bluster and nuance and others (most of them in the album's sleepy latter half) disappearing altogether.

Florence & The Machine have delivered a much more dynamic record, that could draw in those put off by their overblown, dramatic sound.

The Guardian
It’s an album that’s too overblown and daft for the songs to have the desired emotional impact: it’s never really intimate enough for the feelings Welch expresses to connect.

* Ship To Wreck (8.5/10)
* What Kind Of Man (7.5/10)
* How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (8.5/10)
* Queen Of Peace (9/10)
* Various Strorms & Saints (8/10)
* Delilah (9/10)
* Long & Lost (8/10)
* Caught (8.5/10)
* Third Eye (9.5/10)
* St. Jude (8.5/10)
* Mother (9/10)
* Hading (10/10)
* Make Up Your Mind (9.5/10)
* Which Witch (7.5/10)
* As Far As I Could Get (7.5/10)
* Pure Feeling (8/10)
* Conductor (9/10)

Nota Final: 86/100


"How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful" é a minha primeira introdução a Florence + The Machine. O meu pré-conhecimento sobre a banda era bastante limitado, conhecia apenas algumas das músicas mais famosas como "The Dog Days Over" e que estes artistas eram bastante apreciados pela comunidade indie, mas para além disso não muito mais.

Esta semana não tivemos grandes lançamentos que me tenham interessado bastante ... read more


Shoutout @Oh for never shutting the hell up about this band.

I originally wasn't gonna check out this band because.....I saw them in concert and they were boring? Weird Biases aside, I decided to try to go in with the open-est mind I could and...... yeah it's pretty good.

The production is packed with so many instruments and vocals and TRUMPETS! MY FAVORITE! The vocals are pretty good, kinda repetitive at times, but it's not really a big deal. When this album is best it's big and bold and ... read more


"Hiding" is one of Florence's best songs to date, it should've made the cut.

Ship To Wreck - 9/10⭐
What Kind of Man - 8.5/10
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful - 8/10
Queen of Peace - 10/10⭐
Various Storms & Saints - 7/10
Delilah - 8/10
Long & Lost - 6/10
Caught - 7/10
Third Eye - 8.5/10
St Jude - 7.5/10
Mother - 8.5/10


'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful' is undoubtedly the band's magnum opus in my opinion. Where previous albums created a world of escapism, HBHBHB faces life and thrives because of it instead of in spite of it. For that, the machine strips down the fantastic and builds up on trumpets, bringing to life the brass vivid aspect of the album. Florence's songwriting is also in its peak.


this is one of those albums that makes me want to run with a pack of wolves in the woods

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Added on: February 12, 2015