Album of the Week: Disclosure, 'Caracal'


Disclosure, 'Caracal'
Disclosure, 'Caracal' (Capitol Records)

Disclosure have perfectly played the release of their sophomore album, Caracal.They're the most exciting thing in EDM, and they aren't afraid to share the spotlight with Miguel while championing lesser known names in the U.S. like Nao and Jordan Rakei. It's a strategy that helped them get their start, and it's paying off.

Brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence have taken it up a notch from their previous work on their sleeper hit debut, Settle. The duo's progressive combination of original U.K. garage, '90s techno and dubstep earned them Grammy and Mercury nominations in 2014. Their talent for identifying star power helped them boomerang Sam Smith, Jessie Ware and AlunaGeorge into the spotlight. All that groundwork has paid off.

Caracal is a production masterpiece featuring some of the best contemporary voices of 2015. The group smartly release teaser tracks like "Bang That," which speaks to the EDM purists who want a dancefloor banger. They followed that with "Holdin' On," a soulful dance song that features Grammy award-winning singer Gregory Potter. As expected, Sam Smith is the shining star vocalist on the pop hit, "Omen," which saw instant success across the pond.

Yet Caracal isn't necessarily a collection of singles. It works as an album and is more listenable than most rock albums out this year. The sequencing is set up for an evening at the club or an afternoon at home. With The Weeknd opening the album with "Nocturnal" and Lorde's outstanding performance on "Magnets," Disclosure create a tapestry of melodic textures and dynamic rhythm changes.

If there's any criticism of the album, it's that the star power of their featured vocalists might outshine Disclosure's talent. Listen to the album and you'll quickly realize that it's their music that makes the voices shine.

Caracal is out now on Capitol Records.

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