Disclosure: ENERGY (Capitol) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, November 29th, 2020  

Disclosure

ENERGY

Capitol

Sep 01, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Disclosure is good at making dance music for the pop charts. This wasn’t the duo’s purposeful intention with its breakout debut album, Settle (2013), which featured, at the time, barely known vocalists like Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, and London Grammar, as well as an underground dance production style that was winningly reminiscent of both ’90s house and 2000s garage. But Settle did smash it, and its follow up, Caracal (2015), very purposefully went for the chart jugular with overtly pop production and high profile collaborations with the likes of The Weeknd, Lorde, and Miguel. 

Five years later, ENERGY sticks to the ethos of its title with the dancefloor as its focus. Frontloading the tight 40-minute album with the strongest three of its 11 songs, Kelis kicks off the party with “Watch Your Step,” setting the right tone with her voice’s scratchy appeal. Channel Tres leads the train of cool and trendy rappers, who are omnipresent on ENERGY, his laidback rhyming style rolling over the house rhythms of “Lavender.” The only British rapper on the album, slowthai, does a dirty rap battle with Aminé over the jumping beats of “My High.” 

Mick Jenkins, the most currently conventionally sounding of the all the rappers on ENERGY, lets loose his lazy flow flitting atop the skittery garage of “Who Knew?,” while Common, the longest standing of all the rapper features comes in at the album’s close with his classic smoothness on “Reverie.” 

ENERGY also gives space to voices from Mali with Fatoumata Diawara, who returns to Disclosure with “Douha (Mali Mali),” this time singing in her native tongue, as does Cameroon’s Blick Bassy on “Ce N’est Pas.” These two songs’ African rhythms, and “Thinking ‘Bout You”—which is pure ’70s easy listening‑mark ENERGY’s only forays away from a central template of reliable house beats and garage bounces. 

Disclosure works best when the duo taps into its inherent feel for the underground dancefloor and has its collaborators follow its lead, which it does on the majority of ENERGY. (www.disclosureofficial.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 4/10



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