Is there, like, a Florence + The Machine Anonymous group? ’cause I can’t stop listening to How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful…
It isn’t even my favourite album of theirs – which isn’t a dig. It’s a great album. Magnificent even. While my favourite Florence™ album might forever and always be Lungs, no matter what comes next [look, it simply was a really, really, really, really, really, really, really good debut album, alright?], the songs on Big, Blue, Beautiful that I like, I bloody adore. I mean, just the first four tracks are songs any artist should be fumingly jealous not to have in their portfolio. The songs I don’t like too much [which, again, are still very good songs, don’t get me wrong] are the quieter – but no less angry, at times – ones, like “various storms and saints”. But, honestly, if you’re the song following the quadriga that is “ship to wreck”, “what kind of man”, “how big, how blue, how beautiful”, and “queen of peace”, you have a hard lot. If I didn’t love “delilah” as much as I do, even it might pale in comparison to the four horseman riding in like they own the place. But I do love “delilah”, so very much.
“long and lost” and “caught” are a bit of a trough again for me, before “third eye” picks up again with a vengeance. I’m in two minds about “st. jude” and “mother”, as I never seem to recall whether I like them, but most of the time when I listen to them I do. [Of course! Again: very good songs all around, I gotta stress.] “Patron Saint of the Lost Causes” is a great phrase, at any rate.
Then, we get into the deluxe edition bonus tracks [Naturally, I’m only gonna listen to the deluxe edition! Ask yourself: Is there really any other?], and hoo boy!, do “hiding”, “make up your mind”, and “which witch” round out the album like it’s supposed to be a football scoring the winning goal. [I have no idea where I’m going with these metaphors, so please don’t wonder.]
On that note: How can “which witch” be considered a demo version? This is great and has nothing demo-y about it. Especially compared to the demos of “third eye” and “how big, how blue, how beautiful”, which I almost never listen to. Why should I listen to an inferior version of a great song when I already listened to the good version a couple of minutes ago? I’m not trying to be mean here, I’d just rather listen to the definitive version of a song, y’know. Still, always cool to see the metamorphosis a song goes through from idea to album edit.
Anyway, I should give Ceremonials another chance. I remember liking some of its songs, just not the album as a whole all that much. But who’s got the time to listen to Ceremonials when they gotta listen to HB, HB, HB?! No joke: Someone take that album away from me. Whenever I’m thinking about listening to music lately, it’s the one I go for. Twice or thrice a day! Daily! [Almost daily.]