Florence Welch is back with her fourth studio album High as Hope. But what have critics got to say about it?
The Guardian: *** ” It gives the distinct impression that there is a different artist somewhere within Florence Welch, struggling against the desire for grandiosity and the kind of big musical statements that have powered her career. High as Hope suggests she should sweat the small stuff more often.”
Pitchfork: “Florence and the Machine still do what they still do best: blowing little everyday feelings to the scale of the Book of Revelation. More often, though, Welch sounds content and resigned, recollecting the stormy Saturdays of the past with a Sunday-morning penitent’s shrug and a born-again sigh. How small, how beige, how disappointing.”
NME: *** “Stripped to the bare bones of her soul and the sentiment, her truth shines – and there’s a beauty in that. The only thing holding it back is a lack of risk, but there’s still so much comfort in the familiar.”
Paste Magazine: “A mix of raw-nerved personal reckoning and outward-looking, life-affirming anthems, Florence and the Machine’s follow-up to the chart-topping How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful soars just as high.”
The Independent: **** “On previous albums, Florence Welch has revelled in the sheer power her voice can deliver, hammering it down on the listener with unforgiving force. What she’s come to realise, finally, on new Florence & The Machine album High As Hope, is that her voice is just as, if not more powerful when she holds back.”
Rolling Stone:*** 1/2 “On High As Hope, the fourth and most intimate Florence + the Machine LP, she recalls hijinks on MDMA, confesses to an eating disorder, and apologizes for ruining your birthday. Or someone’s, anyhow. It’s cool, though — you’ll forgive her, ‘cause that’s just Flo, y’know?”
Irish Times:*** “The up-and-down dynamic makes for a mixed affair, both stylistically and lyrically, and while there are indubitably one or two “wow” moments, they don’t quite span the whole album.”
MusicOMH: **** “There are moments where Welch wears her influences rather too close on her sleeve – The End Of Love, although being undeniably gorgeous, is rather too reminiscent of Kate Bush’s piano ballads – but overall, High As Hope is certainly her most impressive album since Ceremonials.”
All Music.com: *** 1/2 “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.”
The Telegraph: ***** “Florence Welch’s wonderful fourth album marks the realisation of a singular talent.”
High as Hope is available to buy now.