When Disclosure released their first album, Settle, in 2013, I was hooked. Their creative blend of deep house beats and electronic pop sounded like the work of much more experienced musicians, and they quickly won over thousands of fans, myself included.
The young British brothers are still relatively new to the music scene, but within months they picked up a Grammy nomination and chart-topping recognition in multiple countries. That said, Disclosure now have a reputation to uphold. When the band announced that they would be releasing another album, I couldn’t help but wonder if the duo would be able to deliver again.
They did. Disclosure’s sophomore album, Caracal, dropped on September 25, and it did not disappoint. With fifteen new songs, an array of surprising new sounds, and a star-studded lineup of featured singers, Disclosure has proven that they know the formula for a good song.
The album’s second track, “Omen,” features none other than Sam Smith, the soulful singer who collaborated with Disclosure on a number of songs from their first album. Its swaggering, synth-pop vibe layered on Smith’s dreamy vocals makes for a potential hit. Though slightly reminiscent of Disclosure’s previous work, “Omen” introduces a futuristic club sound that is maintained throughout the rest of Caracal, and refreshingly differentiates Disclosure’s new music from mainstream pop.
A few particular tracks on the new album really showcase Disclosure’s new sounds. “Magnets,” a personal favorite, features Lorde on vocals, whose sultry voice meshes perfectly with the song’s subtly tribal drum accompaniment and synth-bathed beat. Altogether, these components make for a deep, mellow song that sounds effortlessly cool. On a different note, a track titled “Hourglass” could very well be the ultimate deep house-club jam. This song has a funkier sound than some of the other tracks on Caracal, but continues to maintain the overall laidback vibe that makes the album so cohesive.
The only potential issue with Disclosure’s now broadened repertoire of songs is their overall lack of variation. Disclosure has provided their listeners with some new sounds, but some of the new songs evoke the same synth-house fusion that surged Settle to fame in 2013. For Caracal it seems to work, but the question of how long the magic can last remains.