How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 594 Ratings

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  • Summary: Produced by Markus Dravs, the third full-length release for the British indie rock band features contributions from Paul Epworth, Kid Harpoon and John Hill.
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Top Track

What Kind of Man
I was on a heavy tip Tryna cross a canyon with a broken limb You were on the other side Like always, wondering what to do with life I already had a... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 91
    How Big is Welch’s most accomplished album yet, primarily because she doesn’t rely solely on operatics to make herself heard. Welch may have gone slightly smaller with her sound, but her emotional depth and capacity for wonder remain gigantic.
  2. 83
    It’s apparent she’s among her generation’s most deserving superstars, maintaining a stunning balance of technical mastery and sensitive lyricism.
  3. 80
    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.
  4. Jun 10, 2015
    80
    How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is an arena-ready and festival-ready record that, in true Florence and the Machine fashion, is packed to the brim with alarmingly catchy hooks and astounding vocal theatrics from its vocalist.
  5. Jul 9, 2015
    75
    Some of the album's most memorable moments come when the power is dialed down, as with the moving "Long & Lost." But there's no denying how captivating this group can be when the arrangement allows them to fly free.
  6. Jun 4, 2015
    70
    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.
  7. May 28, 2015
    60
    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. Instead, it wobbles precariously along the line that separates the enjoyably OTT from the faintly exhausting.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 62
  2. Negative: 1 out of 62
  1. Jun 2, 2015
    10
    I loved Lungs and Ceremonials so much. F+TM are one of my favorite bands ever so I was super amped up for How Big, How Blue, How BeautifulI loved Lungs and Ceremonials so much. F+TM are one of my favorite bands ever so I was super amped up for How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful with the 4 year wait and boy did Florence and Co. deliver. This album is instantly my favorite of the year so far and maybe one of my favorites all time. They found a perfect balance between Lungs and Ceremonials best parts with new elements added in. My favorites are Ship To Wreck, What Kind Of Man, How Big How Blue How Beautiful, Queen Of Peace, Various Storms & Saints, Long & Lost, St. Jude, Which Witch, basically the entire album is fantastic. Expand
  2. Jun 3, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If the purpose of Florence was to prove that it remains a songwriter and artist **** even when it decides to confront demons not fictitious, but her own, she could. "HBHBHB" exception to all previously clichés taxes, starting with the title, which is not this time a single word, and the still ethereal air, but not as fanciful as well new video clips. I still think the Victorian goth last more pleasant and attractive album, but if there's one thing we can ascertain all this bleak black-and-white Odyssey is: the only way to combat your fears and weaknesses is, well, assuming them, Florence Welch and this makes an unprecedented mastery and elegance.

    We're cheering for Various Storms & Saints, Delilah and Third Eye being singles.
    Expand
  3. Feb 13, 2016
    10
    Florence and the Machine, thank you for great job! "HBHBHB" - best album of 2015! I love this song! It's best album F+tM! Good luck om Grammy,Florence and the Machine, thank you for great job! "HBHBHB" - best album of 2015! I love this song! It's best album F+tM! Good luck om Grammy, Flo! XXX Expand
  4. Jun 22, 2015
    10
    I have anticipated this album for far too long! First of all, the album cover is beautiful. Simple, geometric and clean. Moving from that, ofI have anticipated this album for far too long! First of all, the album cover is beautiful. Simple, geometric and clean. Moving from that, of course the actual review.

    To be fair, when I first heard songs like 'Ship to Wreck' and 'What Kind of Man', it occurred to me that it was very different from Lungs or Ceremonials. I felt sort of weird and unsettled because of this newness that was presented to me. It is not the kind of album that I love immediately, but it grows on you. I started humming melodies and remember lyrics out of no where.

    Her vocals have obviously toned down relative to Ceremonials and though I prefer the intensity and sheer power her voice delivered in Ceremonials, lyrically it was dark, yet beautiful and personal. To an extent, a story was narrated through their songs and words. I really appreciate this album, the amount of time and effort put into it.

    Once again, bravo Florence + The Machine
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  5. Jun 6, 2015
    9
    Although I still personally think the harp should have been included in much of the songs as they cry for them, this album (including allAlthough I still personally think the harp should have been included in much of the songs as they cry for them, this album (including all extra tracks in any edition) boast a balanced sound with the instruments being used in place accordingly. The flow of the moods from high to low, still go hand in hand. The use of brass is magnificent in its own kind. Despite what people say, this is still Florence with all the power she had, just in another form. Expand
  6. Jun 4, 2015
    8
    I haven't been a huge fan of Florence + the Machine, but she's won me over with this album. Lungs was alright, but it lacked cohesion and wasI haven't been a huge fan of Florence + the Machine, but she's won me over with this album. Lungs was alright, but it lacked cohesion and was sort of a mixed bag. Ceremonials was better and had some great songs, but it was a little exhausting since it felt like every song was trying to be a showstopper. With HBHBHB, Florence has found the right balance between the two and has crafted an album that explores different styles while still managing to have a great flow. There are some grand moments that are very typical Florence (such as the title track with the brass instrumentals), but there are also moments of restraint that make it a very interesting and ultimately pleasing listen.

    The only song I skip over is St. Jude. The rest of the album (including the deluxe edition) is good though, and the standout tracks for me are Ship To Wreck, Queen of Peace, Third Eye, and Hiding.
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  7. Jun 2, 2015
    0
    I love Florence + the Machine, but I cound not get this one... I don't know. I expected sooooo much, but now I'm desappointed, frustrated andI love Florence + the Machine, but I cound not get this one... I don't know. I expected sooooo much, but now I'm desappointed, frustrated and disconsolate. I'll still listen What Kind of Man, Delilah and Ship To Wreck, because they are amazing musics, but the rest of the album... I pass, I'm so sorry... :( Expand

See all 62 User Reviews