Record Label: Universal
A refreshing and well- made statement of intent, but the future remains uncertain for House's new heroes
I remember the first time I read about Disclosure. It was in NME in late 2011, and even though they were only given about 100 words of space, it seemed inevitable off the back of singles like "Tenderly/ Flow" that some kind of stardom waited. Even so, if the Lawrence brothers have learnt anything over the past 18 months it's that things blow up incredibly quickly. So quickly in fact that by now Disclosure's level of success means they are likely to be far more than the kind of passing fad that such a fast ascension often enables.
Which, actually, is a very good thing. "Settle" provides evidence of the duo's ability to not only occasionally make people want to dance like muthas, but also an unprecedented wealth in understanding of both old- school House and how to pen a hit. Ultimately such a level of understanding offers both refreshment and versatility, if room for a handful of missteps.
The songs that really stand out here are the ones that exercise said level of knowledge. The fantastically funky "When A Fire Starts To Burn" will take you straight back to the early '90s. "Stimulation" is driven by a dirty, pummeling bass line and layered percussive drum patterns. "Grab Her!" is a fusion of cut and paste vocal samples and squelching pips and beeps.
These songs work because of the space in which they're given to maneuver, but the majority of "Settle" comprises of vocal guest spots from relatively well- known C- list chartgoers. "White Noise" featuring Alunageorge and Eliza Doolittle's smokey intonations over "You and Me" still make for great listening, but the moments of real potential wear thin.
The summery bounce of "Defeated No More" featuring Friendly Fires' Ed McFarlane is certainly pleasant if annoyingly inoffensive, and the soft- House groove of "Help Me Lose My Mind" lacks what the vocals (provided by London Grammar) showcase in extraordinaire. Best of all on this roll- call is "Confess To Me", a gritty, hard- hitting but sensual banger vocalised by the delectable Jessie Ware.
All things considered, it's largely a mightily energetic and knowledgeable statement of intent, but there's a dark shadow lurking in the confines of Disclosure's future. If they get by with this much help from their friends already then the mainstream will become more and more tantalizing and we may see the interwoven old- school vibes that make this such a treat become more sparse. For good or for ill, Disclosure can only get bigger from here, but until that time comes it's worth enjoying "Settle" for what it is.
Key Tracks: When a Fire starts to Burn, Stimulation, Confess to Me (feat. Jessie Ware)
For fans of: Duke Dumont, Azari & III