29/06/2018

My Thought on FATM's Album 'High As Hope'!


(beep)

Hey future anna! How’s it going? At Midnight last night Florence and the Machine released their new album High As Hope which I am super excited to listen to, so I also thought I would document my journey through the songs here/give my mini review as I do. This will be the third album I have done this for, and I really enjoy the process as it means I can properly sit and listen to an album without interruptions so that I can hear and feel the whole story. I was gonna break up all the music inspired posts I have been doing with a tv one but then this album came out so….. I guess the tv post will come out next week! So let’s listen to this album!

p.s. like normal, I will listen to each song and give my opinion as I listen to it and then I will listen to the album again and give my overall opinion along with my song recommendations. I haven’t heard any of the album apart from the songs Hunger and Big God! Enjoy!

JUNE
Ooh a nice quiet and peaceful intro. It’s so delicate. ‘Those heavy days in June’ yes yes yes!!! Wow the song has really broken open and exploded into a beautiful message of literal hope and togetherness. I love the beat – it’s gritty and powerful but still so delicate with the layers of voices. I think this song completely sums up the rest of the album: ‘I’m so high’, ‘Hold onto each other’, etc, Florence really is giving people hope and telling people how to get to it. A state of complete bliss and freedom. Frickin love the abrupt end and how it goes straight into hunger, like this is the prologue, and then she is going to tell the story.

HUNGER
So, I have heard this one as it was the main single they released to push the new album and the OOOHSS at the beginning get me EVERY SINGLE TIME!! This song truly demonstrates how Florence’s voice can completely take care and control a song and create such an emotion without being too overpowering. ‘How could anything bad ever happen to you?’ this is one of my favourite lyrics, this song really is an incredible masterpiece. It’s so calm yet alive, it slows and then you can jump and dance to it. I love it. This is gonna be a BOP live!

SOUTH LONDON FOREVER
Oh, what’s this? It’s light and airy and ethereal. I am moving to South London later this year so when I saw a song was named after the place I was so excited to hear it. She really respects where she has come from and everything she has learnt along the way. ‘The world is at your fingertips’ this actually means so much to me right now. Oh yes a new beat, it’s peaceful and inviting, it’s so full of truth yet still feels like a fantasy. Wow. Wow.

BIG GOD
Ok, I have also heard Big God as it was the second single to be released from the album and can we PLEASE TAKE A SECOND to appreciate how (insert an incredible word here because I cannot sum up my emotions) it is! Yes! It’s so strong and angry yet loving and really shows off Florence’s voice. I guess the title of the album suggests there may be a little God referenced, but the way it is done is so cinematic and dramatic and whole. You get me? It’s like a big carb-y meal you get at the local pub, I feel like that whilst listening to it. I feel full. That’s a lil weirddd but I don’t know how to describe it otherwise hahah! I really do love this one.

SKY FULL OF SONG
This is beautiful. You can tell that Florence truly puts her all into her words without holding anything back. ‘I can hear the sirens, but I cannot walk away’ wow. It’s scary in how she is talking about death and things that are going wrong, but she really is putting across how tired she is with everything going on and still hope is placed a solution to it all.  (Just adding to this now, but this song was the first single released from this album, I didn’t know haha! Sorry if any confusion was caused!)

GRACE
Bit of piano. This is incredible. I love how Florence tells her stories, so much. She really doesn’t hold any of the truth back and is willing to spill everything. ‘This is the only thing I’ve ever had any faith in’ – I don’t know if she is talking to someone called Grace or is looking for grace or has named the person she is talking to after Grace, but this song really is graceful, whatever the meaning behind it is. ‘I hope on hope’ – forgiveness is all she is asking, pleading, for. She truly is sorry for everything that went wrong. I really like this one. For me, I think this has been the most vulnerable song on the album yet and I love how Florence does vulnerable. It’s so real.

PATRICIA
Oh HELLO! I thought Patricia was gonna be a friend who turned into an enemy, but no, Patricia is someone who Florence sees hope in. Genuinely have SO MUCH love for this track. ‘You’ve always been my North star’ – I am obsessed with this line. This Patricia gal has always led Florence in the right direction, even if it’s been a dark night where no hope is seen, hope is always there. I love how this song builds up to become this incredible and powerful musical piece and then suddenly stops. Wow, I think this is my favourite.

100 YEARS
Sweet and powerless and then BOOM hello to this beat. I love how Florence’s voice is still so present yet it’s like the volume has been taken down slightly and the claps and new beats are placed on top instead of being played below. I really like that. Wow I feel like I am at a wicked barn dance, it’s so dramatic yet down to earth. HOW DOES SHE DO IT?!?! ‘How does it feel when you scratch that itch?’ – everything is too much, she doesn’t want to be there but will always be there.

THE END OF LOVE
We’re back to something delicate. The idea of the flood is a beautiful metaphor. The layers of Florence’s voice are phenomenal. Considering so much stuff has happened in the lyrics, hope is still being found, and I think that’s a beautiful outlook on life to have. I love how simple the song is. There are layers of voices and piano and clicks and it just works so well together. It creates such an atmosphere. That would be a beautiful end to the album, so let’s see why No Choir was chosen…

NO CHOIR
This song is HOPE. It doesn’t matter what gets thrown around, there will always be moments of happiness and hope, even if tomorrow doesn’t look so good. I love how simple it is, yet it is so full of power. What the freakin heck I just sat and listened to it and yep, this was an incredible one to end on. We live in a world where badness will always be present, but we can be so grateful for these small moments of hope that keep us going.

Left: High As Hope album cover // Right: Florence performing (Let me know if this is your image so i can credit you!)

So that is High As Hope. Florence and the Machine NEVER disappoint, and I was so intrigued to see the path they would follow after releasing HBHBHB. I feel that this path of hope was an incredible choice to go with. After listening to the album in full a second time, it really highlights that this world isn’t always great, whether caused by natural disasters, awful people, or even ourselves, but in ALL these situations, hope is found. Whether through forgiveness, being home, accepting who we are, Florence really does make us feel that we can be as high as hope, that good in the world isn’t unattainable, and I think that’s an incredible feeling to have and to give.

I truly recommend listening to this album, it’s warm and safe yet still fresh and new, and would be lovely to listen to whilst walking or even cooking. If you don’t have to time listen to it all, I recommend: Hunger, Big God, Patricia, 100 Years, and No Choir. I was literally gonna write the whole tracklist there but had to be hard on myself hahah!

Once again, Florence and the Machine have created a beautiful album, that shines with so much peace and hope, whilst still addressing issues we face every day. It sticks with their well known music choices and feels, yet is more grown up and wise, wanting to show others how hope can be found. Well done.

I hope that you liked my review of each song and then the album overall, and if any of your favourite artists have released singles or albums or are going to soon, lemme know so I can listen to them and possibly write about them! Have a lovely day, keep listening to music future anna!

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