How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is the third studio album by the English indie rock band Florence and the Machine, released on 29 May 2015 by Island Records. After returning from her year-long hiatus from music, frontwoman Florence Welch returned to configure How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, recording material that dealt with personal conflicts and struggles. In comparison to their last two efforts, the album is much more refined and stripped-down instrumentally, and incorporates a mixture of musical influences such as folk, blues and gospel.
Upon release, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was met with generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended the album for its cohesion, production and Welch’s vocal delivery. As a critical success, it appeared on several year-end critics’ lists in late 2015. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with 68,788 copies sold in its first week, becoming the band’s third consecutive number-one album, while topping the charts in several other markets. Four singles have been released from the album—”What Kind of Man”, “Ship to Wreck”, “Queen of Peace” and “Delilah”. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful has earned the band five Grammy Award nominations, in addition to being shortlisted for the 2015 Mercury Prize.
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