Review Summary: God I miss dancing
It's not just dancing that I miss, it's the whole decorum. The menacing bouncer, the sun rising when you finally leave the club, and even that dude drinking nothing but water and smiling as if everybody was his best friend. I miss the mindlessness and the will to just let go
and have fun. And of all genres ensuring no one evacuates the dancefloor, house is a top dog. Repetitive grooves built upon 4/4 beats might be the most efficient template to provoke some sort of syncopated body movements only disturbed by the occasional beverage drinking - and/or substance ingestion. Even though these joyous activities simply cannot happen in these cloistered times, Disclosure still wants you to discharge all the energy surplus you accumulated.
releases said pressure in the form of a party record that does not embarrass itself with anthemic choruses and famous features. No "Latch" to be found here nor huge drops leading to a catchy refrain. The repetition of house bangers is only broken by interludes disseminated throughout the record. This is where this latest album differentiates itself from its predecessors: no song here strives for absolute stardom. While the Lawrence brothers' previous albums were made for the stadiums, this one is designed for the clubs. It does mean that although pop elements aren't annihilated, this is first and foremost a dance album. With that in mind, Settle
will more than likely remain the champion in the pop folks' hearts. But what they lose in immediacy, they gain in diversity.
is a statement of the brothers' will to step out of their comfort zone and show their numerous influences. The duo's most typical genres, house and UK garage, lay the foundations for other sonorities to spice up the recipe. Early highlight "My High" fuses samba and hip-hop bars - courtesy of Slowthai - into house to create a banger tune that will make people dance and shout the lines. Among many genres, hip-house – you got it, it’s hip-hop and house mixed together - make up a telling part of the LP, Channel Tres and Mick Jenkins dropping rhymes while Common makes a (discrete) appearance. The most notable chunk of the album, however, is dedicated to African-influenced music. Fatoumata Diawara sings in Bambara - a Malian language - to counterbalance the otherwise eurodance-centered "Douha (Mali Mali)". This African vibe, as well as the percussive nature of the record, also shines on "Ce n'est pas". Interestingly, this diasporic sound the two brothers were looking for echoes the one recently found in Keleketla
. The run from "Douha (Mali Mali)" to "ENERGY" blasts African influences onto wobbling electronic basses, mirroring Keleketla’s own blend of traditional African music and swinging electronics.
Although versatile, the record nonetheless falls into the trap of unnecessarily repeating some motifs, "Ce n'est pas" collapsing into background territories past the third minute. Worse still, even though 200 songs had been written, concluding tracks "Birthday" and "Reverie" leave no mark on the listener. Despite transporting a daydream-like atmosphere, these final tunes have the misfortune of disintegrating the record into blehness. Another issue one might want to tackle is the lyrical content; yet a thorough lyrics analysis is not necessary here. This is a dance record, whose sole goal is to make you jump on your feet and shake that bum. Lyricists could explain the perfect paella recipe that it would still work if the music was good enough for you to have a good time. And that's what the lyrics do: convey uplifting and cheerful emotions.
While Keleketla was previously mentioned, another album that could be linked with Energy
is The Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D.
Yes, The Black Eyed Peas. In 2009, a year after the financial crisis that drown the world into uncertainty, bandleader Will.I.Am acknowledged The E.N.D.
was meant for people to feel happy and forget about their situation. The same can be said about Energy
: it was voluntarily created to resonate with people in difficult times. It's almost cliché at this point to reference the current pandemic times we are now living in. Yet, Disclosure's latest offering was made for us to remember how important dancing is in our lives. Let's just hope we don't wait too long to energize the clubs to these tunes.