Florence Walks On Broken Glass

I do not believe in God, but I do believe in goddesses. One of them, whom I had the humbling good fortune to meet recently, is Florence Welch, of Florence + the Machine. Finally catching up over the holidays with VH1’s latest edition of “Divas,” I was struck by how none of the assembled women (a line-up including Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson) were anywhere near the equal of the original artists whose hits they covered. Except for Florence, whose interpretation of Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass” is absolute perfection. (Full version here.) Notice particularly the beginning. Florence starts to over-gesticulate and then, at the last second, catches herself and instead delivers a smaller hand gesture to introduce the performance — an elegant flourish which only a non-mortal can pull off. Florence’s voice wavers as stunningly as her flaming-red hair, and that waver conveys soulfulness more effectively than all the huffing and puffing of Hudson and Blige. If I die tomorrow, please book Florence for the funeral!

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