Music, OldVenue

Album Review: Disclosure – Caracal

Disclosure - Caracal. Photo: Wikimedia
Disclosure – Caracal. Photo: Wikimedia

Disclosure have undoubtedly had outstanding influence on the music industry after combining house, dubstep, garage and bass, with a pinch of pop and underlying tones of Caribbean in their debut album Settle in 2013. Reaching platinum in the UK, it was revolutionary to the dance scene, and an extremely diverse album to say the least. With the likes of Jessie Ware, Eliza Doolittle, London Grammar and Sam Smith appearing on the album, Disclosure brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence set the bar extremely high for a follow up album.

Caracal was released earlier this month and at first listen, many were critical of the slower beats and their movement away from up-tempo dance, to a more relaxed vibe. However on further inspection, Disclosure have created some gems which everybody will soon be grooving to. Big names such as the Weeknd, Lorde and once again, Sam Smith collaborated with the Surrey boys; however it is the lesser known artists who steal the show. Gregory Porter, a definite favourite of the album adds soulful tones to the single ‘Holding on’, whereas Nao’s ‘Superego’ tilts towards the pop genre.

A positive addition to the album saw Howard Lawrence taking to the vocals himself in ‘Echoes’, proving that Disclosure can also sing to the beats that they create. Unlike any other artist, the brothers can successfully bring together contrasting artists onto one album, with different vocals making each track completely new, whilst their underlying electronics bring the entire album together.

In a time where tropical house artists such as Kygo and pop artists like Bieber dominate the Top 40 charts, Caracal brings their familiar, signature beats, without attempting to conform to the current music trends.

Furthermore, they do not rely on constant build ups and drops, something that much of the house genre is so reliant on. The listener is reassured by the electronic, bouncy tones that Disclosure are recognised by. You know what you are going to get from them and this is what makes the duo timeless, similar to the likes of Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx. We will always be able to rely on

Disclosure to bring us funky, diverse music that is easy on our ears, whether that is in a club, in the car, or as smooth undertones for around the house. Caracal has allowed Disclosure to expand its audience further past the younger, partying section of the population through the use of such diverse artists from many genres and an evolution of softer tones. Critics have seen this as a negative, branding Disclosure as “boring” in the wake of Settle.

When listening to Caracal, one must be reminded that it must have been extreme ly challenging to create something which doesn’t copy Settle, but also lives up to it. Music is meant to be experimental, it is meant to come straight from the artist’s soul and it is not meant to be confined to expectations and this is exactly what Caracal has achieved.


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September 2021
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