Disclosure - ENERGY Music Album Reviews

Disclosure - ENERGY Music Album Reviews
The Lawrence brothers’ third album of glossy yet gritty disco pop suggests that their true lineage is the Y2K chart-house sound once ubiquitous on UK airwaves.

Guy and Howard Lawrence make the kind of songs you can take anywhere: meticulously crafted and comfortably danceable, ready to serve the biggest festival slots and uppermost playlist spots with instant, PG-rated thrills. When their debut album made these two fresh-faced English brothers world famous, dance snobs sneered, as dance snobs must, yet the songs were undeniable. So when their slowed-down, R&B-glossed second album failed to ignite, the Lawrences must have been left scratching their heads. As the all-caps title suggests, ENERGY is a manic attempt to relight the fire, as well as a confetti-strewn soundtrack for a world tour that never was.
Parts of the duo’s original, world-beating formula remain unchanged. ENERGY is powered by a massive array of high-wattage guests, from veterans like Kelis and Common to newer voices like Channel Tres and Kehlani. It starts promisingly enough, with several moments in the first half that deserve the full smoke-and-lasers treatment. “My High” is Disclosure at their concentrated best: full-fat bassline, rackety garage-house drums, and sleazy rapping by Aminé through a distorted mic, resembling vintage Timberlake. The track can’t even be spoiled by a guest verse from British rapper slowthai, who’s been on a time-out since disgracing himself at an awards show in February.

Also on the future-sex tip, Channel Tres brings his purring monotone to “Lavender,” a hip-house-meets-filter-disco romp that touches on the glitz of Daft Punk and the Neptunes. Kelis avoids our gaze in the club as she dances over a stretchy bassline on “Watch Your Step”; again the distorted mic, again a Neptunes connection. All these tracks, the best on the album, seem rooted in a kind of glossy yet gritty, post-millennial disco pop—a sound that would have made sense at any time in the past 20 years. When the Lawrences reconvene with Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for the gentle grooves and generous filter sweeps of “Douha (Mali Mali),” it’s a further twist to a successful recipe, recalling UK chart hits of the early ’00s from once ubiquitous names like Modjo, Room 5, and the Shapeshifters. That Y2K sound—a jumble of vintage vocals, scuffed breakbeats, and sweeping disco lights—is Disclosure’s true lineage. Perhaps this is what “timeless” really means for British millennials?

Unfortunately, ENERGY peters out in the second half. The title track reunites Disclosure with the NBA’s favourite motivational speaker, Eric Thomas, whose booming voice appeared on 2013’s “When a Fire Starts to Burn.” This time they slap his inspirational flimflam over a noisy samba band sample and a burst of silvery chords—effective enough, but it feels like reheated glories. Despite having written more than 200 songs for ENERGY before whittling down the final tracklist, they reserve two of the album’s 11 tracks for “interludes,” as they’ve titled them. “Fractal” is innocuous boom-bap and “Thinking Bout You” is a dreamy, post-Donuts flip of an obscure ’70s soul single, Lady’s “You’re Still the One.” Both are pleasant, but it’s hard to believe there wasn’t something punchier among the 190-odd tracks on the cutting room floor.

Kehlani and Syd get together on “Birthday,” a twinkling slow jam that sounds like something those two would write with no one else around; the brothers start to fade into the scenery. “Ce n’est pas” curls into wallpaper, missing an opportunity to forge a catchy hook out of Cameroonian singer Blick Bassy’s vocal. “Reverie,” finally, is a damp sign-off that has nothing to do with the preceding 40 minutes, leaving Common to deal out lines as forgettable as lockdown’s unchanging days (“When freedom calls, we gotta listen”) over an undercooked soul loop. Rather than inviting the rap elder into their world, the brothers try, unsuccessfully, to recreate his—as if they’re happy being assistants on their own production. Seven years after their precocious debut album, one that set the standard for a whole wave of mid-’10s dance pop, Disclosure seem only slightly closer to working out what it was they got so right the first time round.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Disclosure - ENERGY Music Album Reviews Disclosure - ENERGY Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, September 07, 2020 Rating:

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