Album: Florence & the Machine, MTV Unplugged (Island)


The strictures of the Unplugged format don't impact too much upon Florence & the Machine, thanks to their semi-acoustic roots, so when she opens this MTV performance with "Only If for a Night", the piano, harp and drums are more like familiar old hands than brave new departure.

What does give the ghost story new character is the 10-piece gospel choir, which, combined with the strings, adds depth to its mystery. Elsewhere, the harp is prominent on "Cosmic Love", emphasising Florence's tremulous maidenliness, while shivery strings and a resonant guitar drone haunt "Drumming Song". The duet with Josh Homme on "Jackson" doesn't really work, but Florence nails her take on Otis's "Try a Little Tenderness". An impressive show, but not one likely to persuade doubters.

DOWNLOAD THIS Only If for the Night; Try a Little Tenderness; Drumming Song