Disclosure - Energy

Regular price $ 33.99

Guy and Howard Lawrence seemed neither truly idle nor underexposed between the 2015 and 2020 arrivals of Caracal and Energy, their second and third Disclosure LPs. Among numerous Disclosure singles and EPs and commissioned work done separately and together, the brothers earned their fourth and fifth Grammy nominations with the Fatoumata Diawara-fronted "Ultimatum" and as producers of Khalid's "Talk" -- the latter a Top Ten hit in the U.K. and U.S. They finished work on Energy by the end of 2019, issued the prelude Ecstasy EP the following February, and within a 24-hour period the next month announced and canceled a tour. The COVID-19 pandemic also prompted Disclosure to delay the release of Energy until that August, as venues remained closed and the possibility of coordinating gigs with a new album became increasingly slim. Energy's first track, springy, spangly, and resembling tamed early-aughts Basement Jaxx, is coincidentally apt for the circumstances, with Kelis demanding distance and enthusing about dancing in solitude. Its finale, featuring Common -- essentially playing the role his father has filled on his own albums -- is suited for the times in a more general sense, entailing a megamix of positive poetic aphorisms over the Lawrences' rippling drums. That these two songs and the rest take the shape of a coherent and concise LP is a feat in itself, given that it constitutes roughly six-percent of what the Lawrences created during their Los Angeles and London recording sessions. The producers averted artistic option paralysis by favoring the tracks that required the least amount of labor, and their selections neatly snap together, but perhaps their methodology was at the expense of some better ideas. Most glaring is that the choices for collaborators are often more inspired than the results. A second connection with Diawara lacks the dazzle of the first one. Blick Bassy's strength as a songwriter isn't fully utilized on a creeping dub-house track that would be better suited for a 12" B-side. Pairing Syd and Kehlani might be Disclosure's smartest A&R decision yet, but "Birthday" is a Timbaland knockoff rather than a distinctive homage. Two instrumental hip-hop interludes also come across as too indebted -- clinical if scholarly stabs at J Dilla- and Dabrye-style beatmaking. Energy peaks early. The loping and gleaming "Lavender," a meeting with brash Channel Tres, and the atmospheric garage scuttler "Who Knew?," featuring Mick Jenkins in wholehearted singer mode, have enough homing power to illuminate Club Lonely.

2xLP on 180g Clear Vinyl

Watch Your Step 3:51
Lavender 4:49
My High 4:55
Who Knew? 3:50
Douha (Mali Mali) 4:55
Fractal (Interlude) 2:07
Ce N'est Pas 5:55
Energy 4:54
Thinking 'Bout You (Interlude) 2:01
Birthday 3:40
Reverie 2:17