Album Review – Disclosure – “Settle”

Disclosure is a UK duo consisting of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. Their debut LP “Settle” despite the talk of dub step, house, disco and other musical categories… I can...

Disclosure is a UK duo consisting of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. Their debut LP “Settle” despite the talk of dub step, house, disco and other musical categories… I can say that this album is just a brilliant pop album. “Settle” is full of bright danceable euro-synth pop that is easily consumed and enjoyed.  It’s intricate sound and its various vocal styles from the guest artists featured on many of the tracks keep me more interested for future listens. Disclosure offers a positive voice for the new “genre” of music as we heard from Daft Punk latest offering which reminds us of a more enjoyable time from a historical perspective, so does Disclosure with “Settle” with differences. Daft Punk pays tribute to 80’s disco and synth-pop while Disclosure looks to late 80’s and 90’s house music, euro-pop dance and pop sensibilities making “Settle” a very creative, cohesive and clean dance pop album.

Familiar to me from the 80’s is the cool euro-pop sheen (i.e. Dollar, Imagination) evident  throughout each of the songs as do the different vocal styles from track to track give the giving a unique sound sweeping away the listener with catchy hooks and relentless, infectious and hypnotic beats. That can be found immediately on “Intro” and segway into “When A Fire Starts to Burn” hypnotizing the listener and pushing her/him to the dance floor. This is a great opening duo of tracks with a repetitive vocal in this preacher-like manner and an incredible beat drowned background  (a song one would hear at a downtown club). However, the Lawrence brothers never abandon a good pop song on this record as with “Defeated No More [feat. Edward MacFarlane]” a catchy (dub step influenced) sweet beat with catchy vocals and backing vocals alike. Even the dreamy and disco-soulful croon from guest vocal Sam Smith on “Latch” is perfectly crafted creating ear candy for the listener, light airy synths with cool beats, free feeling and bright. “Stimulation” is a jazzy song reminiscent of C&C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now” or even the hook brilliant euro-pop anthem called “Help Me Lose My Mind” [feat. London Grammar]”, an echo driven gem including a shimmering tambourine and soft disco beat. The  vocal is angelic and hopeful. The beats are beautifully timed and memorable grabbing the listener as one of the most brilliant ending tracks to an already captivating list of fantastic tunes, like a calm end to a night on the dance floor – an epic finale!

There are very few full albums of this genre which impress me as much as Disclosure has done with “Settle”. The meticulously crafted songs and the ease of transition from one song to the next keep me interested and dancing. This is why this is a brilliant pop record not just another synth-pop record with a few singles, but a catalog of dance/ soul and pop songs for today.  Buy it here.

Artist: Disclosure

Album: Settle

Label: PMR

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Track Listings: 1) Intro 2)When A Fire Starts to Burn 3)Latch [feat. Sam Smith] 4) F For You 5)White Noise [feat. AlunaGeorge] 6)Defeated No More [feat. Edward MacFarlane 7)Stimulation 8)Voices [feat. Sasha Keuble] 9) Second Chance 10)Grab Her! 11)You & Me [feat. Eliza Doolittle] 12)January [feat. Jamie Woon] 13) Confess To Me [feat. Jessie Ware] 14) Help Me Lose My Mind [feat. London Grammar]

Music Reviews

Jon Crary is an avid music fan. Jon's roots are the late 70’s punk and the new wave scene, but his influences are early 70’s glam- Roxy Music and David Bowie. His tastes evolved in the 80’s to include his influences’ copiers – Japan, Duran Duran and New Order. He hosted a radio program where Echo and the Bunnymen and the Smiths were staples. Now, their legacy is well documented. Many people think he has great taste in music, and he actually has a good record collection. He is also a semi-musician having played the bass guitar in a French garage rock band. Now, you will see him enjoying the new music of this and the last decade…thanks to Interpol “Turn on the Bright Lights” album for which he will forever be grateful for revitalizing music for the new generation and old.