Album Reviews | Disclosure – Settle (2013)

I don’t know much about electronic music, but I know enough that Settle by the English brother duo Disclosure isn’t EDM. No, it’s a bit more classicist in its slant, and while it certainly isn’t sophisticated enough with its song structures to be trip-hop, it’s still pitched towards the house music of maybe 15 or 20 years ago. Thankfully, while that music has always been pretty boring to me (house, not trip-hop), Disclosure do an excellent job of building upon those house foundations and adding enough melody — both musically and vocally — to make their debut LP Settle not just interesting, but really enjoyable. There are a number of tracks here with excellent grooves (“Defeated No More”) and great hooks (“Help Me Lose My Mind”), and while the album is simply too long, causing it to lose definition — the tracks tend to bleed into one another — Settle is a winner. It’s a great multipurpose album; if you’re just looking for a few great tracks, it has some (“Latch,” “You & Me,” “Confess to Me”), and if you’re just looking for an album to throw on at a party, it’s great for that, as well. As I hinted above, however, it’s too long and samey to be considered great on pure musical grounds, but it’s an album everyone should look into all the same.

Even if Settle isn't a true EDM album, those caught up in the recent electronic music craze will find it immensely enjoyable thanks to its endless parade of indelible grooves. The songwriting lacks pronunciation -- the songs are a little too anchored by their grooves -- but this will likely escape most listeners' notice.
  • A lot of fun to listen to
  • Combination of strong grooves and melodic hooks proves to be a winning formula
  • At 61 minutes, it's maybe 20-25% too long; it gets hard to differentiate the tracks after a while
  • Lots of good songs, but none of them are truly great

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