MTV Unplugged

Nothing minor happens in a Florence Welch song. While most of us worry about hangnails or roaming charges, her mind is gripped by images of blindness, despair, suicide and other symptoms of love. On Unplugged, she intensifies the turbulence of her LPs and adds two covers, including a hushed "Try a Little Tenderness" that stands as the best version since Otis Redding's. While the harp, violins and choir remain delicate, Welch erupts into wild, simmering high notes, most notably on "No Light, No Light." Her singing is stunning; this should be credited to Florence and the Vibrato.

Listen to "Only If for a Night":

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From The Archives Issue 1155: April 26, 2012