Florence And The Machine's 'High As Hope' Album Review
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Florence And The Machine's 'High As Hope' Shows The Power of Reflection, Love, And Learning

This is more than just a summer album; it's a work of art.

Florence And The Machine's 'High As Hope'

Florence Welch, the angelic singer/songwriter of Florence and the Machine, has officially released her new album "High As Hope" on June 29th. Since last Friday, I've allowed the words, stories, and rhythms to resonate a bit with the help of my earbuds and long drives accompanied by sticky June air seeping through my windows.

My verdict: This is more than just a summer album. "High As Hope" is a work that does not only show the extreme complexity that life has to offer, but is also a vessel that allows Florence Welch to reflect, learn, and share her own grievances with the world.

The first single to be released on the album is "Hunger," and in my opinion, it has one of the most relatable yet powerful messages. Florence says in the first few verses:

At seventeen, I started to starve myself
I thought that love was a kind of emptiness
And at least I understood then the hunger I felt
And I didn't have to call it loneliness

The chorus then continues to say "We all have a hunger." After the song was released, Florence posted this statement on her Instagram account.

Statement made by Florence, for "Hunger"https://www.instagram.com/p/BiU1dV5nPDe/?taken-by=...

Personally, I think hunger can constitute so many different meanings for different people. A hunger can be wanting something and fighting for it, as a metaphorical hunger in your stomach, or a hunger can be the devil holding you back. It's a void that one feels they need to fulfill.

Florence paints this picture of hunger by looking for love in all the wrong places. She reflects throughout much of the album on her life and how she viewed herself as an adolescent. She explains how looking for love in drugs, drinking, and her own body was a journey that she had to partake in order to discover what love really is.

In an interview with BBC Radio 1 she exclaims, "It's also a celebration of how much I see young people changing things, like, "No, I wanna look this way." They're just so switched on and engaged and they're not gonna be told how they should look and behave. I was really lost when I was a teenager, I was really confused and sad, so I feel really inspired by the young women I see today."

Other pieces on the album show similar themes of regret and reflection, such as "South London Forever" and "Grace" as Florence traces back familiar feelings of nostalgia. Despite her fame and success as an artist, Welch reminds herself and her fans of the importance of remembering from whom and where you come from. "South London Forever" is a keystone, a marker, to where she began in the midst of her teenage years. She sings "I thought, "It doesn't get better than this. There can be nothing better than this, better than this." A line that flows so freely, yet just speaks so loudly to how often young people do not realize how much more there is to come in life.

This song and much of the album is a complete existential wonderland.

In essence, Florence emphasizes the fact that she doesn't know anything about the world as a younger individual, and frankly, do any of us?

And we're just children wanting children of our own
I wanted space to watch things grow
But did I dream too big? Do I have to let it go?
And what if one day there is no such thing as snow?
Oh God, what do I know?

As a storyteller, she seems to share with us an out of body experience with the obvious help of reflection, honesty, and the use of drugs. Stripping her soul bare, she opens up about past struggles with those closest to her and some of her most difficult heartbreaks. Florence has never sugar-coated her words before, but in this album, it is simply beautiful to witness how willing she is to rip open these wounds and speak on subjects such as feeling emptiness to the experience of being "ghosted."

My favorite tracks on the album are "The End of Love" and "No Choir," yet it is so difficult to narrow down to just two songs. Each and every song on this album is interconnected with one another and sheds light on an aspect of Florence's life that we can all connect with. On top of this, the imagery and dedication Florence proves in her music videos for singles "Hunger," "Sky Full of Song," and "Big God" are truly unbelievable.

The album overall has a very minimal, yet distinct sound that clearly gives Florence's silky yet striking voice the power it deserves. Not to mention the accompaniments and backing vocals serve to embellish the melancholy tone of all other elements to each track. The arrival of this album has given me everything and more than I had expected. Seeing what you've been feeling for so long and being able to connect these songs to actual life experiences makes you feel just a little less alone.

So many people around the world thank you for this album and for all that you stand for, Florence.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

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