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Single Review: Florence + The Machine – What The Water Gave Me

Photo: Ed Fielding

Florence and the Machine stand proudly as the epitome of cool. They make credible music, write great songs and most surprisingly of all, aren’t afraid of a massive chorus. Feeding from so many different genres, the result of the bands work has sat firmly in the pop charts, as well as on the iPods of the indie kids and even blaring out of the radio in housewives’ kitchens. So with such a wide audience to please, it must be difficult for Ms. Welch and the gang to put out a follow up to one of the most critically acclaimed albums the British has seen released.

More of the same, this certainly isn’t. Thankfully for musicians, change is no longer frowned upon, but welcomed in the industry, but how much change a band as unique as Florence and the Machine need is another question. The strings remain, the atmospheres are just as captivating as ever and the song is still keeping with the signature sound we’ve come to expect – a sort of gothic pop, if you will, with a glistening silver lining circling each track.

The creepy, atmospheric verses remind us of the Florence we know, whilst the hopeful chorus leads to the stunning outro fuelled with a blazing glory of celebration and brings in something a little different. The difference is in the beauty of the hook – whilst we’re a little more used to being smashed over the head with an overwhelming crescendo, as in ‘Howl’ and ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’, ‘What The Water Gave Me’ descends into a lulling chorus. But as i said before, the unforgettable choruses are one of Florence’s strong points and by the time it rolls around for a third time, it soars beautifully.

Florence may have some of the most powerful lungs in the country but she doesn’t oversing, even resorting to a talkative, whispering manner as the middle eight flutters past. Unlike many other ‘divas’, Florence doesn’t feel the need to bellow in every track and, although it’s beautiful when she does, the song is all the better for it – vocals in Florence and the Machine are only one part of the magic.

It’s no secret that Florence and co’s second album is highly anticipated and attention looks set to increase as the track assures that the follow up to ‘Lungs’ is going to be phenomenal, charming and treasured by critics and fans alike. Taking the subtle beauty of fan-favourite ‘Blinding’ and the euphoria that hooked the nation in ‘You’ve Got The Love’ and blending them together, ‘What The Water Gave Me’ is paving the way for something big.

Photo: Ed Fielding
Words: Simon McMurdo

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