ALBUM REVIEW: Disclosure – Settle

Settle artwork
Settle artwork

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 11.36.33 AM

ARTIST Disclosure

ALBUM Settle

LABEL PMR

RELEASE DATE 4.6.2013

9.3 | 10

UK duo Disclosure, consisting of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence, have come a long way in a short amount of time. The eldest Lawrence brother, Guy, is only 21 years old, yet on their 2013 debut LP Settle, the siblings come across as seasoned veterans in the dance music field. For 16 tracks, Settle transfixes its audience, with the duo shifting gears from chart topping smash singles to dance floor fillers with relative ease.

By all accounts, feature-heavy dance music albums tend to veer too close to the cliché to be anything more than distractions. Settle has its fair share of collaborators, but each fits warmly into the narrative being built by the Lawrence brothers. Sam Smith’s star making turn on “Latch” is just as potent today as it was when it was first released last year, and Aluna Francis sounds just as at home singing over Disclosure’s jittery beats as she does over George Reid’s silky-smooth productions. “White Noise” and “Latch” are still two of Disclosure’s best tracks, but in the context of Settle, the valleys on either side of these two monstrous songs don’t make those peaks seem so insurmountable. “F For You” skates along courtesy of some smooth vocals from Howard Lawrence, and serves as a bridge between “Latch” and “White Noise.”

Elsewhere, guest vocalists such as Sasha Keable and Jamie Woon make the most of their appearances, with the former being the perfect balance of the duo’s ability to craft Top 40 juggernauts and underground dance floor gems (see: “When A Fire Starts To Burn”). On “January,” Woon turns in a remarkable performance, taking command of his surroundings in a way others could only dream of. Everyone’s favorite UK singer, Jessie Ware, shows up on the sultry “Confess To Me” and she does what she does best. “Confide in me,” she sings. Not many singers can make commitment sound like a warm blanket rather than a long journey through the snow.

The greatest electronica albums, Endtroducing, Untrue, Music Has the Right To Children, are all based in the muck and mud, as much indebted to the emotional lows of life as most other electronica music is based on the euphoria one experiences once every blue moon. Settle is not trying to be the work of Burial or Boards Of Canada; it’s the work of two kids becoming men settling into their surroundings, taking the potential energy of the likes of DJ Shadow and transferring it to the kinetic energy that has made EDM such a force in pop culture these past couple of years. This is an album that will only gain steam as we submerge ourselves into these summer months, and will surely become a staple of every summer henceforth.

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