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Florence + The Machine – “Unplugged” Review

My enjoyment of Florence + The Machine really seems to come in utter waves. I go nuts and then burn out very quickly only to want more again later on. One of the most interesting things I thought would be getting her new CD/DVD of her Unplugged session which I did for a present for a certain someone – did we enjoy?

In a word yes but I was a touch underwhelmed too.

The CD itself has 11 songs along Cosmic Love is strangely omitted from the DVD – it’s also in a different order strangely too. Florence’s vocals are spot on and the Unplugged versions in general shine but one thing specifically was lacking for some of the songs and that’s percussion. It seemed as if the more percussive the song, the less the drummer would take part which I found equal parts intriguing, alluring and disappointing at the same time. It absolutely doesn’t take any anything from the performance itself, it’s just that I found the choices to use percussion were unusual.

“Only If For A Night” is stunningly beautiful with a choir backing Florence, “Drumming Song” sounding more freeform folk without any percussion while a duet with Josh Homme on a cover called Jackson veers off into country. My personal favourite No Light, No Light is excellently done yet very rarely is there a moment of euphoria throughout the whole performance. It’s restrained. It’s pretty. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I wanted a mass of drums marching me round in circles. Instead I got semi-skimmed Machines.

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