Monday, April 9, 2012

Florence + The Machine release MTV Unplugged

Florence Welch released her MTV Unplugged performance today. This is her first official Live release. Florence is know for her strong, booming voice. Lungs, her first album released in 2009, was widely well received in the UK as well as the US. She became known for her energetic performances, unique style and of coarse that voice. In November of last year Florence released her much anticipated second album Ceremonials. It has been a huge success across the world. Upon first listen, I really felt that the production values of the album overshadowed her voice. The bombastic drums, the strings and swirling complex arrangements competed rather than complimented her voice. Upon many listens later, I have adapted and can now hear the intention of the work, though still wish they had pushed up the vocals just a touch more. All the slight shortcomings I felt with the second album are remedied with this live album. Each song is stripped down and her angelic voice is pushed forward as the true focus. Also, how she sings these new arrangements really adds depth and texture to the lyrics. Many of the songs are slowed down to a ballads pace. The one song that I was most excited to hear, but did not quite feel that it delivered was her cover of Jackson with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. I was interested to hear her take on the famous Johnny Cash and June Carter tune. Although I feel that covers never need to emulate the original and that an artist must make it their own, her voice felt out of place in a country song. Maybe I just love June Carter Cash a bit too much. Hopefully upon a couple more listens, it will grow on me. Overall, if you are a fan of Florence, this album and its changed tone is highly recommended. Check out a taste of what is in store.

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