Let me tell you, everything you knew from Florence has changed, and this is not a bad thing.
According to the lady herself she had to go through a bit of a breakdown before producing this third album, that came out yesterday (or in two days if you're in the Netherlands or the UK).
But alas, the wait is over, and here it is, after nearly 4 years of waiting. It is different, and it's good.
How Big How Blue How Beautiful seems to be an album about self-exploration, creating a whole different vibe than the first two albums by Florence and the Machine. Notable is the fact that the album cover leaves out the machine, giving all credits to Florence.
Because of the completely different road Florence has taken it is hard to compare this new album to her older ones, simply because it's more personal and closer to reality than for instance Ceremonials, which was more of a created fantasyworld were everything was made to match, like the stagedesigns and dressed Florence wore during performances.
Now she is running around in her bra and broke her foot jumping off the stage, can things get more real than that?
Apart from appearences, the music on this album changed as well. The brassband incorporated in the musc makes the quiet, soft songs stand out incredibly, like the song How big how blue how beautiful, of which a sneak peak was posted earlier on by Florence. The louder songs seem to have been sung with great passion, but with less of the perfection in the voice that can be found in Ceremonials, making the album more personal as well. Third Eye is one of those songs were shouty singing is a thing, adding to the pure honesty of the album.
The realness of How Big How Blue How Beautiful hits you straight in the face, and I personally love it. I can't wait to see Florence herself live at Rock Werchter at the end of June, it shall be great!