thu 01/10/2020

Album: Disclosure - ENERGY | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Disclosure - ENERGY

Album: Disclosure - ENERGY

Great selection of guests add up to a decent, if sometimes predictable, album from the house revivalists

Estuary sound system

When Disclosure appeared a decade ago, they were a necessary antidote to the rank gorgonzola of EDM, which was turning club music into a garish mire of musical infantilism.

When Disclosure appeared a decade ago, they were a necessary antidote to the rank gorgonzola of EDM, which was turning club music into a garish mire of musical infantilism. These two deliberately faceless Surrey brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence, doffed their caps to the classic house sound but updated it to the 21st century, splashed it with garage and R&B, and never wandered too far from the party. Their third album, with assistance from impressively well-chosen collaborators, attempts the same but is too often trapped by its own tastefulness.

The short of it is that the first half of the album just does this chugga-chugga thing, skip-beat garage house that never breaks a sweat, nice enough in the background in a cocktail bar in Esher, but where’s the contagious vim? Where's the edge? To be fair, popular Ibiza-style dance music itself has tended towards a lack of power in recent years, preferring to maintain a styled coolness that works well when half the mind needs to concentrate on social media or phone pics rather than losing it.

But what guests! Kelis, Fatoumata Diawara, Slowthai and US MC Aminé all appear amidst the chugga-chugga to varying degrees of effectiveness. Each track alone is alright, but pile up the chugga-chugga and interest wanes. But then a shimmering bleepy two minute “interlude” called “Fractral” piques the interest, followed by the album’s best tune, “Ce N’est Pas”, with Cameroonian singer Blik Bassey's fragile voice enunciating French lyrics against a persuasive, revolving, stark electro-funk. The title track features motivational speaker Eric Thomas, who appeared on the early Disclosure single “When a Fire Starts to Burn” and is a tech-house carnival, and “Birthday”, featuring Syd (from The Internet) and Kehlani, is a bona-fide US-style R&B classic (if too soppy for my tastes).

The album finishes with a mellow-toned two minute sign off from venerable hip hop don Common and, by that point, ENERGY has long pushed out of the chugga-chugga flatlands. It may not exude that much actual energy, but there’s a chunk of worthwhile fare on board.

Below: Watch the video for "Douha (Mali Mali)" by Disclosure featuring Fatoumata Diawara

It may not exude that much actual energy, but there’s a chunk of worthwhile fare on board

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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