Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #10: "No Light, No Light" -- Florence + the Machine

After Florence Welch and her lovely machine released Ceremonials lead single "Shake It Out," it wouldn't exactly have been an unsound assumption to make if one said that the singer had spent all her grandiosity on that one song. It was huge, with resonating choirs and a commanding vocal performance from Welch herself.

And then, we got "No Light, No Light."

Florence's newest single features a plethora of backing vocalists and orchestral backing, including a harp, and bombastic percussion. All this combines to create one of the most dramatic and altogether epic performances of 2011.

Welch has always had a penchant for going all-out, but this is ridiculous -- and I mean that in the best way possible. Secondary vocalists and organ give the song a church-like hymnal feel from its onset, and things can only go up from there. The tense drama of the song only rises with each second, the emotion in Welch's voice becoming more and more desperate.

"Heaven help me, I need to make it right," she sings, invoking the religious imagery ever-present in the song's music video.

One of the few times I truly got chills listening to music this year comes toward the song's end, when all other instruments cut out save for Welch's voice, following with the re-addition of bass and drums. It's one of the most powerful instances captured on record this year.

Florence + the Machine may forever be known in America for "Dog Days Are Over" and nothing more, but if there's any justice in this world, "No Light, No Light" will break out big as well. After Adele paved the way for grandiosity in pop music once more, the time is ripe for Florence to take her spot at the top, and this is the song with which to do just that.

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