MTV Unplugged
Released 6 April 2012
Recorded 15 December 2011
Length 47:45
Label Island
Producer Unknown
MTV Unplugged is the second live album by English indie rock band Florence and the Machine, released on 6 April 2012 by Island Records. It was filmed on 15 December 2011 in New York City's oldest synagogue building, the Angel Orensanz Center, as part of the MTV Unplugged series, with the band being backed by a ten-person choir. The album contains acoustic performances of eleven songs from the band's two studio albums, Lungs (2009) and Ceremonials (2011). A cover of "Jackson" with Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and "Try a Little Tenderness" were also added to the set list of the show.

Development Edit

Welch said she was "in awe" of the synagogue in which the band played on the stage decorated with candles. She further added, "I had to stop myself after every song. I would be like, 'Wow.' ... It was so amazing performing the songs stripped back and just really being able to concentrate on the songs and the emotions". During the show, Welch told the live audience: "This is a real moment for me and to be doing an 'Unplugged' session is amazing."[1] During an interview with MTV News, she revealed, "It's such a huge thing, and it was so intimate, and I really enjoy doing things stripped back and having the strings and the choir. It was really wonderful ... But what to say in between? I got so bashful. I was so grateful to be there, and I was trying to express that, and it just went into this weird, stilted speech. It ended up with me trying to talk but not saying any words ... Singing is fine. Talking, not so much."[2]

Release Edit

The track listing of the album was announced on 6 March 2012 on Florence and the Machine's official website. The same day it was announced that the album would be available on CD, deluxe CD/DVD and as a digital download.[3] On 9 March, the album was available for pre-order on the band's official website.[14] The CD/DVD ordered from their official website contained an exclusive poster, only available to customers who pre-order the album through the website. On 28 March 2012, a teaser of the album was released on the band's official YouTube channel. The performance of "Cosmic Love" from the show was posted online on MTV UK on 2 April 2012. MTV Unplugged was released physically in the UK on 9 April and in the US on 10 April. It was released through the iTunes Store on 9 April and through all the other digital retailers on 10 April.

Critical reception Edit

MTV Unplugged received mixed to positive reviews by music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 66, based on 9 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". AllMusic's James Christopher Monger graded it with two-and-a-half out of five stars, commenting "she's [Welch] come full circle, allowing fans a peek into the bombast while providing the aging, acoustic show with a little defibrillation." He further noted that midtempo songs like "Only If for a Night", "No Light, No Light" and "What the Water Gave Me", "are soulful, spooky, and bold, allowing room for both Welch and her machine to strut their stuff without sounding like a murder of caged crows." Rob Tannenbaum of Rolling Stone gave a positive review for the album saying, "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."[4]

Commercial performance Edit

MTV Unplugged debuted at number twenty-seven on the UK Albums Chart, selling 4,647 copies in its first week.[5]

Track listing Edit

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Only If for a Night"   5:07
2. "Drumming Song"  
  • Welch
  • James Ford
  • Crispin Hunt
3. "Cosmic Love"   5:09
4. "Breaking Down"  
  • Welch
5. "Never Let Me Go"  
  • Welch
  • Epworth
6. "Try a Little Tenderness"  
  • Jimmy Campbell
  • Reg Connelly
  • Harry M. Woods
7. "No Light, No Light"  
  • Welch
  • Summers
8. "Jackson" (featuring Josh Homme)
  • Billy Edd Wheeler
  • Jerry Leiber
9. "What the Water Gave Me"  
  • Welch
  • Francis White
10. "Dog Days Are Over"  
  • Welch
  • Summers
11. "Shake It Out"  
  • Welch
  • Epworth
Total length: 47:45

Canadian and US iTunes Store bonus track Edit

Canadian and US edition bonus tracks Edit

References Edit