Florence and the Machine

"What the Water Gave Me

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
August 29, 2011

There are megawatts of raw power contained within Florence Welch's larynx, and she wrings out every last one on the first tune from her forthcoming second album. She takes her sweet time getting there, though. The track opens softly, with Welch cooing slightly spooky pastoral poetry ("Time, it took us to where the water was"). But soon enough, she's out-and-out howling about learning to let go after a failed relationship, ancient Greek giants and possibly drowning herself. Her veiled incantations feel like the stuff of myth, even if it's not entirely clear how the images relate to one another. Producer Paul Epworth expertly amps the drama, surrounding Welch with roiling organ chords, deep bass rumblings and looming choral harmonies as the song builds. It's a late-summer storm with that voice shining through the thunderheads

Listen to "What the Water Gave Me":

Video: 'What the Water Gave Me'
Video: Record Shopping with Florence + the Machine 

Song Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Don't Dream It's Over”

    Crowded House | 1986

    Early in the sessions for Crowded House's debut album, the band and producer Mitchell Froom were still feeling each other out, and at one point Froom substituted session musicians for the band's Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. "At the time it was a quite threatening thing," Neil Finn told Rolling Stone. "The next day we recorded 'Don't Dream It's Over,' and it had a particularly sad groove to it — I think because Paul and Nick had faced their own mortality." As for the song itself, "It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on — don't dream it's over," Finn explained.

    More Song Stories entries »