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Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry by Florence Welch – review

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Pop’s high priestess bares her soul in this candid collection charting her transition from wild child to grownup

You’d think, after four hugely successful albums, that Florence Welch would know her own voice. Yet the Florence + the Machine singer’s first lyrics and poetry collection is all about learning to speak. “What would I say / If it was just me / Not full of choirs, singing fucking constantly,” asks Song, its tricksily named keynote poem.

It makes sense. “Force of nature” is a cliche that Welch’s powerful voice often inspires, but it has a grain of truth: a song, for her, is something that blows through her from elsewhere. “I am a conduit but totally oblivious to its wisdom,” she says in her preface.

In Honeymoon, she feels the shells of those she’s hurt rattling behind her like Marley’s chains

Related: Florence Welch: ‘I wonder sometimes, did I dream too big?’

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