Disclosure – Settle Album Review

Rating: Disclosure are an English duo specialising in Deep House and Electro. The group is made up of two brothers;...

James Bale

Contributor

Disclosure Wide

Rating: ★★★★½

Disclosure are an English duo specialising in Deep House and Electro. The group is made up of two brothers; Guy and Howard Lawrence. Their latest album “Settle” has been no.1 in the UK album charts and their biggest hit so far has been ‘White Noise’ which made it to no.2 in the UK top 40, and no.1 in the UK Dance chart. So let’s have a look at what the deluxe edition has to offer…

The album starts off with a track which is titled ‘Intro’. This acts as a prequel to ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’. After the initial vocals the song drops into a funky electro beat. It falls quite nicely into the new Deep House movement which seems to be spreading around the bars and clubs. ‘Latch’ was the first single released off this album and features vocals from Sam Smith. It managed to achieve no.11 in the UK singles chart and paved the way for the excellent album on show here. The song is catchy, has a great beat to it and Sam Smith provides excellent vocals throughout. An all-round brilliant track. Following on is ‘F for You’. A fairly progressively repetitive song. Not a show stopper – but it acts as a bridge for what is to come next with White Noise.

‘White Noise’ is undoubtedly the most known track from this duo as it charted highly at no.2, only being beaten by Thrift Shop, and is constantly being played everywhere. It’s addictive beat and subtle vocals from Aluna George make this track smooth, slick and wonderful to listen to. ‘Defeated No More’ starts with an addictive beat which draws you into the vocals by Ed Macfarlane. It’s the longest song on the album at just over 6 minutes, but they manage to fill the time well with the beat progression and smooth vocals. ‘Stimulation’ is more up tempo than some of the other tracks heard so far with some glitchy vocals added in for good measure. A good all-rounder. ‘Voices’ features Sasha Keable on vocals, showcasing an excellent voice with the rather calming synths in the background. When the song drops into the funky electro rift, her voice compliments it perfectly.

‘Second Chance’ is an incredibly mellow song with glitch vocals throughout. The slightly odd combination works to create almost a small interlude between the two halves of the album. I liked this a lot. ‘Grab Her!’ does sound menacing from the title but is instead an almost industrial sounding deep house electro track. It has a very odd combination of samples and synths which make it sound like they have trapped your ears in a pipe. ‘You & Me’ has the vocal talents of Eliza Doolittle and was the third single from the album. It managed to get to a peak of no.10 in the UK singles chart and no.6 in the UK Dance charts. I like the flow of this song as it takes you through various progressive synths with Eliza’s vocals pulling the track along. ‘January’ has vocals from Jamie Woon and adds to the very calm nature of this album. These songs are brilliant to chill out to, and this one in particular has a very soothing chord progression which is complimented by Woon’s voice.

‘Confess to Me’ has Jessie Ware on vocals and this track is by far the ‘heaviest’ here. It somewhat sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the calm nature of the album. It almost acts as a wakeup call before the end of the album. It does have some restful parts throughout, but the majority is upbeat. The final track on the album is ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ with London Grammar providing the vocals. This song is by far my personal favourite on the album. Brilliant vocals, brilliant production and all round excellence make this song a joy to listen to. The simple beat in combination with echoing synths and hihats make the song effortlessly amazing. It rounds off the album perfectly. The deluxe edition CD features three extra bonus tracks; Boiling featuring Sinéad Harnett, What’s in Your Head and a remix of Jessie Ware’s ‘Running’. ‘Boiling’ is a very melodic number and fits well with the general album theme of soothing tracks. ‘What’s in Your Head’ has more glitch vocals on display giving a subtle chaotic feel but again the underlying melodic progressive beat keeps the track in line with the rest of the album. The remix of Running brings the original song into the style of all the songs on this record and it has totally been reworked from before.

The album as a whole is excellent as a chilled out record and offers a change in pace compared to how most people view dance/house music to be. It is a fresh and innovative approach to the world of deep house music. The stand out track for me is the collaboration with London Grammar on ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’. I hope they work together again in the future, and I also highly recommend London Grammar’s work.