Cover image for High as hope [compact disc] / Florence + The Machine.
Title:
High as hope [compact disc] / Florence + The Machine.
ISBN:
9786317348288
Edition:
[Explicit version].
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Republic Records, [2018]

â„—2018
Physical Description:
1 audio disc (39 min., 59 sec.) : CD audio, stereo ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Title from container spine.

Music written or co-written by Florence Welch.

Compact disc.

Lyrics included on insert.
Contents:
June Hunger South London forever Big God Sky full of song Grace Patricia 100 Years The end of love No choir
Audience/Reading Level:
Parental advisory; explicit content.
Holds:
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Summary

Summary

For Florence + the Machine's fourth full-length, High as Hope, Florence Welch digs deep, meditating on the highs used to fill the holes in our souls, be it drugs, alcohol, reckless love, or spirituality. Over the course of this concise and cohesive journey, she discovers life is about learning to live in the space between the extremes, embracing the normalcy of that middle ground between passionate highs and empty lows. Gone is the sun-splashed grandeur of How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and the anthemic bombast of Lungs and Ceremonials. The Patti Smith ode "Patricia" and the stomping "100 Years" come the closest to past heights, but otherwise, High as Hope sticks close to the heart of a newly sober and reflective Welch. Arranged as a clean linear narrative, the album opens with "June," wherein Welch faces the loneliness of fame and her coping mechanisms. She reveals a teenage eating disorder and drug and alcohol addictions on "Hunger" and returns home to revisit where they all started on "South London Forever." On the string- and horn-drenched "Big God" -- featuring Kamasi Washington, among others -- Welch even considers a higher power to fill the void. In the moments where her former vices are not the focal point, emotions swell on the tender apology/ode to her younger sister, "Grace," and the bittersweet "The End of Love," which features Welch's purest vocal performance on High as Hope. On the closing "No Choir," she confesses "it's hard to write about being happy cause the older I get/I find that happiness is an extremely uneventful subject." Yet, by the end of the song, she realizes that, in those "uneventful" moments of stillness and mundanity, happiness can be found in the simplicity. Straightforward and relatably human, High as Hope may not be the rousing version of Welch from previous albums, but as a document of her personal growth, it's an endearing and heartfelt study of truth and self-reflection. ~ Neil Z. Yeung