Albums to watch

High As Hope

Florence + The Machine

High As Hope

Fourth studio album from Florence Welch's indie rock band with contributions from Jamie xx, Sampha and Kamasi Washington

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Universal Music
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  1. 10.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    A subtly beautiful piece that opens up a new door for the future of the band
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  2. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    It’s raw, human, stripped of all excess and laid bare – and it’s quite possibly the most beautiful thing the band has ever released. Near perfection
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  3. 8.4 |   AU Review

    A less is more approach was key with High As Hope and the result is incredibly rewarding
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  4. 8.3 |   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
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  5. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    High as Hope dials down Florence and the Machine's trademark theatrics to forge a vulnerable and visceral musical achievement
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  6. 8.0 |   DIY

    An album that takes solace in those closest to her, works to right previous wrongs, and sees her come out the other side a whole lot stronger
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  7. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    High As Hope is a welcome chapter in Florence + the Machine's career
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  8. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    High As Hope is a confidently streamlined record, a project resplendent in its completeness with just ten tracks
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  9. 8.0 |   Q

    There is something new to her voice - it never gets lost on the moors, instead finding a new muscularity to haul itself back in. Print edition only

  10. 8.0 |   The Independent

    Florence Welch looks back on her youth with a mix of fondness and regret, and takes as stripped-back an approach as seems possible
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  11. 8.0 |   music OMH

    If this new, compact, less overblown Machine shows what Florence Welch is capable of, may it run for another 10 years
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  12. 7.8 |   Earbuddy

    More intimate, but the songs don't suffer because of it
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  13. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    This is a deep well of an album that demands repeated listens—the subtleties and intricacies revealing themselves satisfyingly and sometimes inspiringly as time goes on
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  14. 7.5 |   A.V. Club

    Musically, High As Hope isn’t too far off from the operatic orchestration of her earlier work, which is the most frustrating thing about it
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  15. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Florence Welch drops confessional truth bombs all over an ambitious, experimental LP
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  16. 7.0 |   The 405

    It finds beauty in complex subtly allowing Florence’s vocals and by extension her personality to shine through more than it has before
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  17. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    Welch’s voice exudes confidence and barely allows herself to take a pause that lasts more than a beat. It’s breathless and jolts around on a whim, just as all great Florence and the Machine songs do
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  18. 7.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Undoubtedly the saddest record to come out of the Machine camp, and Welch owns it with that flamethrower emotional power
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  19. 6.7 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The only limits on Welch's talent are the risks she sometimes fails to take
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  20. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Her elemental themes and gale-force delivery remain but Florence Welch now seems to be settling for a little calm
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  21. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The album eschews guitar rock-oriented maximalism and soaring catharsis in favor of quieter orchestral moments
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  22. 6.0 |   Mojo

    High As Hope often feels like The Greatest Showman for people of drinking age, This Is Me for art students - an affirmation, not a challenge. Print edition only

  23. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    Florence Welch’s fourth album is most powerful when focused on the small, telling details of encroaching adulthood
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  24. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    From her Grandmother’s suicide to a difficult sibling relationship and an adolescent eating disorder, it’s hardly the stuff for pop hooks
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  25. 6.0 |   NME

    Stripped of excess, Flo's truth shines on the safe but subtle album number four
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  26. 6.0 |   Crack

    There’s still the occasional lapse back into the shouty Florence of old – see lead single Hunger – and sixth-form poet Florence too, especially on the asinine Sky Full of Song. For the most part, though, High as Hope is endearingly human
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  27. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    A solid collection rather than a gripping or inspirational one
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  28. 5.8 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Ultimately, there would be more to say if High as Hope, and the rest of the band’s discography, didn’t already lay it out for you
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  29. 5.7 |   Pitchfork

    Another relatively stripped-down album featuring the titanic voice of Florence Welch is troubled by its overwhelmingly beige production
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