You can really tell Disclosure are kids of the nineties, who grew up listening to Craig David, So Solid Crew and Massive Attack. Not that’s its really as good as those three (well, maybe better than Craig David) but ’Settle’ shows that imitation is most definitely the sincerely form of flattery. It reeks of nostalgia and more importantly, tries so hard to recapture the vibe that music had in the British isles during the nineties. Does it really recapture that vibe? You bet, and its warmth and sincerity really shines through for those who remember. It’s most suitable for the morning after a party of those lazy Sunday mornings chilling in the backyard getting passed the hangover or the comedown.
There’s just a point when listening to this where you will inevitably turn it to another CD, again, not because it’s bad, it’s just a little homogenous for this generation and waaay too slow. This is not a bad thing for a mix, but for an entire album, it can get tiring to listen to. There is a huge over reliance on that two-step UK garage sound (you’ll know what I mean when you here it) and the basic pillars of deep house (smooth deep basslines created using a TB-303 and simple 808/909 drum patterns).
I think anyone who has missed this duo may get a bit of a surprise, but in this day and age of music invading all facets of life, I think by now you would have heard the three singles now released off it. ‘Latch’ brings us the sweet, sweet voice of Sam Smith who lays down the best vocals on the album, but only just in front of Eliza Doolittle later on. Smith has a way of bringing the Britain back to the fore in this album and if the whole album was made up of songs like this is would be gold. Similarly, the vibe on later track ‘You and Me’ features the same vibe – UK Garage with smooth basslines, great two-step and enchanting vocals from Doolittle. You will no doubt have already heard ‘White Noise’ featuring the stylings of Aluna George on vocals. All three of the vocalists on these release tracks are relatively unknown and don’t have solid careers of their own; but none of that matters. They feature on some of the most heavily played tracks of 2013.
One striking comparison to another album I have raved about recently is the inclusion of Sinead Harnett on the track ‘Boiling’. Hartnett is a player from the brilliant stand out album of last month from Rudimental, ‘Home’. I hope to hear more from her as the lovely rolling vocals make this one of the better tracks off the album ranging from deep house groove all the way through to almost hitting RnB standards in the production.
This is an album just asking to be remixed the shit out of. Not because it’s bad, but because it lays the foundation in two styles people hold so dearly in their hearts. Expect this to take on many forms in the dance music landscape in the coming months and I for one, look forward to hearing what other producers make of it.
Just don’t get me started on the creepy as fuck album cover of which I can only assume it’s a childhood picture of the Disclosure brothers when they were growing up, but ‘de-faced’.
7/10 Creepy album covers