Review: Florence + The Machine – ‘What Kind of Man’

3
40%
40
Disappointing

Failing completely to live up to previous glories, the first single from the upcoming album is barely worth listening to.

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At the risk of offending a few die-hard fans, Florence Welch’s output is either incredible or instantly forgettable. For every ‘Spectrum’, ‘Dog Days Are Over’, or ‘Shake It Out’ – the huge, belting singles which inspire an awe quite unlike almost any other artist – there are a whole slew of album-only tracks that instead are muddy and uninteresting – even after the third or fourth listen you’d struggle to recall any significant features.

In the aftermath of the announcement of Welch’s third studio album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful comes the album’s first single, ‘What Kind Of Man’. A heavily-effected introduction sets the track off to an eerie, unsettling start, which builds and builds, leading the way for an explosive first verse…which just doesn’t happen. Instead all that build-up is replaced with a crude and inelegant guitar riff absurdly akin to Fall Out Boy at their absolute worst. The transition is so immediate, and the two parts so utterly unrelated that you’re left with the impression that you’ve accidentally skipped the rest of ‘What Kind Of Man’ and found yourself on a different track entirely – one infinitely worse than the intro suggested it would be.

Likely striving to recapture the raw energy of Welch’s greatest singles, the mark has been well and truly missed on the rest of the track, with a variety of melodramatic instrumentation fighting amongst itself to be loudest and most epic, resulting instead in a cacophonous mess. ‘What Kind Of Man’ is trying so, so hard to be the next unforgettable Florence + The Machine hit, but if anything it’s tried too hard, leaving it as little more than another uninteresting album track.

‘What Kind Of Man’ is out now, and available as an immediate download when pre-ordering How Big How Blue How Beautiful.

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As The Edge's resident design monkey (and occasional album reviewer), Joe can usually be found sweating over a Wacom tablet colouring in drawings of celebrities, or getting over-excited about typography.

3 Comments

  1. avatar

    @Lewis For me it just felt contrived – attempting to deliberately construct “epicness” in a way that previous Florence + The Machine songs haven’t. It lacks the clarity and focus of stuff like ‘Dog Days Are Over’ and ‘Howl’, which I love.

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