Disclosure
Settle


3.5
great

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (98 Reviews)
June 7th, 2013 | 186 replies | 14,470 views


Release Date: 06/03/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dust off your binky.

“Bro, wait until you hear this epic drop. Wait. Wait. BOOOOM! Crazy right? Oh hold on, hold on, theirs a killer glitch breakdown coming up. What? No no, hang on. Aw right there, yes! After this, there’s a three part didgeridoo break followed by a flute solo. It’s so nuts, they auto-tune everything and its so radical.”

Does anyone else feel like we’re being fed gimmicks? It seems like when the American dubstep goldrush happened in 2009, innovation kind of froze. An easy to replicate formula sent kids scrambling to festivals by the thousands. A cottage industry of producers sprang up overnight, their overblown drops indistinguishable from one another. Dance music started playing catch up with dubstep for the next big pleasure button and began throwing glitch breakdowns all over the place. Now the two genres are dueling for festival supremacy, constantly one upping the other for sheer annoyance.

There’s nothing wrong with a good break down every once in a while, but the problem is these elements are now working against the songs, sounding almost completely removed from their surroundings in a desperate attempt to surprise. Taking dubstep from the back streets of London to the Civics of stoners didn’t do the genre many favors.

So it is with great relief that I can recommend Disclosure’s debut album Settle as a completely gimmickless dance pop album. No trendy guests, no unnecessary breakdowns, no awkward rap verses, just a rock solid dance pop album.

Emphasis on the pop, because like most great pop, Settle cribs all the best part of dance music, the rise/fall dynamics, the sultry guest artists, and leaves the bits that only work on the dance floor to the remixes. What you get is a wonderfully tight combination of house, UK Funky, and late 90’s big beat all wrapped up in 6 minutes or less.

Settle hits the ground hard. After a brief mission statement/intro, we get right to the payoff. Flipping an unconventional Eric Thomas sample, “When a Fire Starts to Burn”, gives you just enough time to grab your drink and carve out a space on the dance floor. A hollow synth line piles on the hook and the vocal sample cuts in and out right as it verges on getting annoying. Track one of their debut and its clear we’re in the hands of professionals.

Lead single “Latch” is the closest the album gets to a bass drop. While Sam Smith harks back to era of male divas like Terrence Trent D’Arby as he loses himself in the melody, it holds it for the late chorus, playing up the tension of the verses, the cloud breaking pre-chorus, and finally, the roller-coaster plunge. It doesn’t feel cheap and it doesn’t wreck the songs momentum for the sake of volume, it just feels awesomely gratifying. It’s not going to blow the trunk lid off your car but it wont send you scrambling for the volume knob either.

UK hit, “White Noise” deploys an increasingly essential AlunaGeorge to play coquette. “If you wanna get tough, lets get rough,” she beckons from the corner of the club as Duplo block synths chirp and worm their way around the mix. Album highlight “Defeated No More” keeps a sweeping synth wave under wraps until opening it up for a cheer at the end of every line. Edward Macfarlane, like all the guests here, keeps in mind that he isn’t the star of the show and works the beat through its paces, throwing in tasteful and well-timed backing vocals. “Help Me Lose My Mind” gracefully twists through the moonlit skyline on a coolly pulsing verse before arcing skyward on its soaring, London Grammar delivered chorus.

The albums only flaw is it never feels like Disclosure are taking any major risks here. Granted, it is a debut album, and as a debut album it succeeds wildly, showcasing the arrival of two producers with loads of promise but from time to time the album plays it a little too safe. “Stimulation,” “Grab Her!”, and “January” are all fine, but lack a strong hook to leave an impression. Basement Jaxx were always clever in this regard, making sure to leave a “Being With U”, “Do Your Thing”, or “Living Room” somewhere in the album to keep us on our toes. “Second Chance” comes close, but doesn’t go far enough to make it a real change up.

But that’s a minor tear in an otherwise excellent album. If you or anyone you know has felt burned by dance music’s holes-in-the-brain burnout over the last few years, this is an easy recommendation. It showcases not only the considerable talents of Guy and Howard Lawrence, but their guests are a who’s who in boundary pushing R&B, dance, and dub music. Disclosure are already making a big noise across the pond, three of its singles have been top twenty hits. If only we could get them to chart over here.



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user ratings (214)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
snydely (4)
Deep house beats, complex synth rhythms, and several guest vocals permeate an album destined for muc...


Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



1477 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm interested to see people's reactions to this, it's been pretty split. Pitchfork lost their shit over it, The Independent hated it.

Does the first paragraph feel superfluous? I was trying to get you into a familiar mindset, that exhausted frustrated feeling but I'm not sure how successful I was.

Lemme know below! Thanks for reading!

Digging: Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



6248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album fucking rules

Digging: Amatorski - From Clay To Figures

PunchforPunch
June 7th 2013



5276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

When A Fire Starts To Burn is boring as hell though

Digging: Vril - Torus

treeqt.
June 7th 2013



7803 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

album fucking blows

RuanCSC
June 7th 2013



121 Comments


I started listening to this, but gave up half way through "When a Fire Starts to Burn". Should I give it (the album) another chance?

RuanCSC
June 7th 2013



121 Comments


In all seriousness... DOES it get better after that?

PunchforPunch
June 7th 2013



5276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah just skip that song. on my way to stimulation, just got a boner from Defeated No More

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



1477 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Try another track, I hear people being turned off by that song a lot.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



1477 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"When a Fire Starts to Burn" bugs me when I'm thinking about it but when it's on it's the shit.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



6248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

People on Sputnik having fun wrong, what a surprise.

PunchforPunch
June 7th 2013



5276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah this would be so much better live

defjaw83
June 7th 2013



1763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

When a Fire Starts To Burn is incredible what are you even talking about? You're either listening with shit speakers/headphones or can't appreciate a thumping dance track.

I'm thinking of reviewing this. I haven't reviewed for a couple of years now. I enjoyed reading this one but I have different views

Digging: Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



6248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

When a Fire Starts To Burn is incredible what are you even talking about? You're either listening with shit speakers/headphones or can't appreciate a thumping dance track.

Yeah, this. What a bassline, gawd!

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



1477 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have different views

^^

Care to share?
Or saving for your own writeup?

defjaw83
June 7th 2013



1763 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yea I'm gonna save it for my write up. My views aren't completely different actually but the album's pushing a 4.5 for me so i'll be gushing a little more

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



1477 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I just felt like its too solid, its almost uncanny. Like these guys could crank this out every other month if they wanted to.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



20200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The stuff they released first was definitely the best. I was gonna review this but I've been busy with
exams and all. Might do it now cos I have a bit of time til the next batch.

Digging: YG - My Krazy Life

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2013



6956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, in agreement with the rating (might go higher). Been spinning "Latch" and "White Noise" loads. Album is especially refreshing because it is without gimmicks, as you noted.

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

Ch0ps
June 7th 2013



14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A lot of people give them flak because they've strayed from their original "Carnival-Tenderly-Flow" future garage sound, but it's probably the best pop album in years.

"When A Fire Starts to Burn" is probably one of the bottom 3 songs on the album.

The more I listen to it the bottom half the of album, the more I'm enjoying it compared to the top half. "Make Me Lose My Mind" is such an ace slow house tune. "January" and the Jessie Ware track have gotten better the more I listen to them.

Between his vocals on "Defeated No More" and his on the newest FaltyDL album, I realize I need to listen to Friendly Fires more, and that I want Ed MacFarlane to sing sweet lullabies to me every night.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 7th 2013



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dunno if we're listening to the same Fire Starts to Burn. It's like the perfect opener.

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon



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