How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful: slowing down The Machine
Nel mese di maggio la stampa internazionale ha incoronato Florence Welch come profetessa di una nuova attitudine del rendere carisma e frustrazione. "HBHBHB" Ť il disco Indie dell'anno?

Articolo a cura di Francesco De Sandre - Pubblicata in data: 01/06/15

Grazia e potenza in tre atti. Un connubio che si ripete, rinnovato e luminoso seppur saldamente ancorato all'avanguardia classica proposta da un'autrice che - solo in studio e mai dal vivo - concede alla macchina la condivisione di una scena comune.


The Guardian: It certainly is blue too. Welch's love life has not been as blessed as her musical career, so HBHBHB finds her circling the drain of an imploded relationship, this time with novel directness. The album's knockout track, What Kind of Man, establishes this particular love with a pregnant, atmospheric intro - "and with one kiss," sings Welch delicately, "you inspired a fire of devotion" - and then details its frustrations with a thumping great brass-strafed rock song. "You let me dangle! At cruel angle!" she bellows, "What kind of man loves like this?"


The Washington Post: "I was writing a prep talk to myself, almost. I like to hide behind reverb and a lot of backing vocals but producer Markus (Dravs) pushed my vocals forward and was quite adamant about it. It's another layer of taking down your defenses and I was scared." Florence Welch knows she has written a hit song when it sounds like a "prayer" to her. The Florence + the Machine singer is always confident she has created a track that will resonate with people when she can recount it like a religious offering or a "spell".


NME: Happily, moments of light far outweigh those of darkness. Closer ‘Mother' tempts Epworth back for one last job - a glossy Jefferson Airplane-style slice of blues with an unmistakable debt to ‘Screamadelica'-era Primal Scream's gospel psych. Overflowing with stately songwriting and lyrical craftsmanship, ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful' makes for a restrained but joyful return, and a collection that will last long after Welch's broken bones are mended.




The Telegraph: Like Kate Bush on Hounds of Love, Florence Welch channels the heartbeat of the hunted victim on her latest record. Florence Welch has been through a break-up and a breakdown since the release of her second album, Ceremonials, in 2011. But the 28-year-old art history professor's daughter has turned her turmoil into a powerful record, adding a new spiritual depth and mature awareness to the thrill of the wild emotions she has always been able to pump so fearlessly out of her mighty heart and lungs.


The New York Times: "This album was about tackling those two sides of my personality - the extrovert, this extreme freedom that often results in broken bones and the person who is quite restrained," she said. "When the break happened, it was almost the quiet person who had written the album and then had to take over." From its first song, "Ship to Wreck," a blast of anger and self-doubt, "How Big How Blue" has a driving, rock 'n' roll pulse, while Ms. Welch's lyrics take aim at an indecisive partner. In "What Kind of Man," she relays a dreamlike scene of "trying to cross a canyon with a broken limb" and tells her lover, "You were on the other side, like always/Wondering what to do with life." ("Songs become like strange predictions," Ms. Welch says now of the "broken limb" line).


Rolling Stone Australia: On How Big How Blue How Beautiful, Welch has made it her mission to go bigger still, this time guided by another producer with proven stadium-filling power, Markus Dravs (Coldplay, Arcade Fire). Epworth's driving drums have been replaced with warmer, earthier, sounds, including a brass section led by Goldfrapp's Will Gregory. But it still sounds huge - and there's no quieting Welch, the most powerful instrument of all. The singer's full-throttle default mode serves "What Kind Of Man" well. In Welch's most snarling tune yet, churchy atmospherics erupt into an Aretha-worthy belter riding a fierce rock riff.




Svariate tempeste e santi consenzienti scatenano piogge di oggetti dall'alto, su di una landa desolante ed idilliaca che riflette e scompone l'universo delle cose e non delle persone. Il confronto con il genere umano è costantemente rimandato alla proposta concertistica: il nuovo album di Florence + The Machine è fedele al baratro della discografia del progetto Art Rock londinese, e maschera con filtri vocali l'ironia nascosta nella cupezza dei propri concetti. Piogge di oggetti, dunque, formosi e deformati. Oggetti trasformati in concetti e raccolti da Florence, che in "How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful" analizza stranita l'evoluzione delle piccole cose, o di come esse siano grandi entità attorno a cui costruire più di un'esistenza.


Tra le radiofoniche "Ship To Wreck" e "What Kind Of Man", barocche e levigate costruzioni da esposizione, e le essenziali ed introspettive demo scheletriche in chiusura, spiccano - precipitano - pareti scoscese e invalicabili, mura coriacee di palazzi nascosti in quartieri sonori di città vuote, in cui a crescere come l'edera serpentina sono i sogni e le speranze di chi dorme nel rimorso.

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