Florence and the Machine
MTV Unplugged


2.5
average

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2012 | 13 replies | 3,482 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Florence and the Machine's sound is too large for the acoustic outfit.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Florence and the Machine seems like the perfect outfit for an MTV Unplugged performance. Consisting of many members manning a variety of instruments both in the studio, and even more additional members during normal live performances, the backup band for Florence + the Machine (rather the “Machine” end of the act’s name) most certainly has the potential to become a unique acoustic orchestra for an unplugged performance.
The Machine makes this set quite interesting, utilizing it’s supply of helping hands to cover the many instrumental stations fitted for the raw acoustic reconstruction of the soaring and booming epics in Florence’s as of currently, short discography. Hell, they’ve even employed Josh Homme, the fire-haired demon of the desert himself to aid the fire-haired goddess of indie soul Florence, as a featured guest on the live cover of the decades old acoustic sit-down staple “Jackson”.

Though the fact that this is an acoustic album to begin with is where issues are run into here. The songs of Florence + the Machine are songs that are instrumentally layered in a complex fashion, and the range and volume these songs aim for is to soaring and rafter breaching points. These unplugged renditions of notable standouts and usual live favorites in the bands catalog end up making these songs, and especially Florence’s vocal performance, seem strained, and limited, it comes off as strongly retracted, and the impression of them holding back is very noticeable. This would be very different if the songs where deconstructed and then reinterpreted to suit a live performance, instead of just being acoustic renditions and play-through’s that end up severely turning the volume down, and especially in this case with songs that require a venue with stadium sized atmosphere to truly reach their intended volume.

Songs are not re-invented here as they need to be, to make the result of hearing this worth while. If fans have ever wondered just what these songs sound like unplugged, they’ll get what they want, but not much else. These are weaker versions that feel as though the band is going through the motions. There’s no feel of raw jam, or simple acoustic beauty, or anything different done with the songs to make this notable or interesting. This is a performance from the band that is less effective than usual, because the songs themselves clearly weren’t designed for this type of performance at all in the first place, leaving audiences left with nothing but the bare bones foundation of the songs and music that is played to a very passive standard because none of what the songs were originally meant to convey can be achieved through this method.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ThunderNeutral21
April 22nd 2012



3864 Comments


nice review, florence is ok

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2012



15332 Comments


I heard this and it was pretty bad. It's more than her sound just being "too large" for the acoustic set, though...her voice was shaky as hell in most of the songs and she didn't sing with half the passion that she does on record. It's a shame really, because I thought this was going to be great.

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

breakingthefragile
April 22nd 2012



2943 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Was gone for a bit, actually went away on my vacation. But now I'm back, starting with this quick one. If this is posted and considered as posted the next day, I'm gonna flip.

Digging: Glassjaw - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know...

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2012



15332 Comments


what?

breakingthefragile
April 22nd 2012



2943 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@SowingSeason, I posted that comment thinking it was going to be the first comment posted lol. I was just referring to myself, not replying to your comment. I didn't notice you posted a comment in the 30 seconds I took me to write that. I Didn't expect comments this soon at 11 pm.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2012



15332 Comments


oh ok haha

breakingthefragile
April 22nd 2012



2943 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@SowingSeason But yeah, in response to your comment, I myself also expected a lot more from this album in the way of creativity and performance quality. Taking new approaches to the songs from an acoustic angle. I think Florence sounds so shaky because she's trying to be reserved and is restraining herself from her normal volume, and it's really effecting her voice because she's not letting it all flow naturally.

Ire
April 22nd 2012



41747 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

unplugged is dumb but florence can do no wrong


ILJ
April 23rd 2012



6615 Comments


I caught a performance of one of these songs on TV earlier, I can't remember which, it was something Ceremonials though, and I got the same impression. I know that Unplugged is supposed to be stripped down and acoustic, but Florence's music is the opposite of that. It's made to be loud and layered, just like you said.

That being said, great review.

Digging: Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun

breakingthefragile
April 23rd 2012



2943 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for all the positive feedback guys. :D

Apollo
April 23rd 2012



10266 Comments


well this is disappointing. love her new album and she is my wifes fav artist

good review

SCREAMorphine
April 24th 2012



1751 Comments


Good review pos.

breakingthefragile
April 24th 2012



2943 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@SCREAM I appreciate the comments you give on all my of posts. Glad to know you think I'm doing a good job man.



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