Having anticipated great things from Disclosure’s debut album, Settle, and waiting anxiously following the releases of singles such as the fantastic ‘Latch’ and ‘White Noise’, I’m very sorry to say that I was disappointed by this offering.
This is not to say that what has been placed on the album is not brilliant in itself, it is more that you get the sense that the best things are the things that you have already heard, and Settle simply fails to deliver in comparison to these hits.
Opening with an intro, and ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn’, a little confusion is generated. It simply does not feel as if it is setting the tone for the album, and starts to drag as it goes on. Frequently broken up by previously released material, there are only a few moments in which it feels as though Settle is producing anything different to what we’ve already heard.
The duo are undeniably talented, and the beats which they create definitely separate them from most electronic music producers out on the scene at the moment. Yet it feels as if they can be over-indulgent at times, forgetting that they’re meant to be keeping their audience’s interest; meaning that, after a while, some of the tracks seem boring and bland.
‘F for You’ is a cool, collected track, which could easily be a pre-drink favourite, and shows Disclosure doing what we know them best for. Its simple, addictive lyrics and pulsing beat make it one of the better songs on Settle. Placed between ‘Latch’ and ‘White Noise’, it sits nicely between these and creates a nice bridge between the two.
Ed McFarlane’s vocals on ‘Defeated No More’ are simply joyous. His sultry echoes, paired with somewhat 90s garage beats are easily a highlight of the album, and sneak into your head in a way that their earlier singles did. ‘Stimulation’, unfortunately, does not provide what the title suggests, and is one of the more unnecessary songs on the album, with five minutes which never really go anywhere.
‘You and Me’, ‘January’ and ‘Confess to Me’ redeem Settle, and this is largely down to the vocal talents of Eliza Doolittle, Jamie Woon, and Jessie Ware. Here are three very good club tracks that will appeal to even mainstream listeners, particularly ones who checked out the album on what they had already heard. The music, whilst not being exceptional, lends the perfect accompaniment, and the chilled synths beats make these three tracks great for listening to almost anywhere.
Unfortunately, Settle is let down by its abrupt ending. Closing track, ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ is beautifully relaxing, with small synth swells over a fairly basic beat. It has an ethereal quality which feels as if it’s leading somewhere incredible. But just as you finally get into the album, it’s over. And this is a great shame, as it comes just as it’s built up a sustainable momentum which leaves you begging for more.
Overall, a fairly good debut effort from Disclosure. The track-listing is questionable in parts, and some songs are overlong, but there is incredible potential here, and my only real complaint is that there wasn’t enough of it!