“Just noise, white noise. I'm hearing static, you're like an automatic you just wanna keep me on repeat and hear me crying!” Surely the whole world must’ve encountered White Noise by Disclosure at some point in 2013 – as it was undeniably a ubiquitous hit, introducing the world to the music of the London based duo.
Now in 2015, brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence were faced with the almost dreaded trepidation of following up a commercially successful debut album after Settle, their first, was BRIT nominated and even hit #1 in the UK chart. Luckily for them, their sophomore effort Caracal, offers more of the same but this time the duo opt for a less mainstream, more serious sounding record – with varying results.
Although Caracal is more serious sounding – it is never boring and is still a lot of fun. Admittedly the songs are not instantaneous earworms like the ones fans have come to identify Disclosure for originating. However the Lorde collaboration Magnets at the centre of the album is one of the standouts. Lorde’s smooth vocals glide over the sleek and satisfactorily syncopated groove the duo masterfully spawned.
The pair’s prowess of producing UK garage and house music reminiscent of their first album can still be heard on songs like Jaded (which sounds like a follow up to F For You) and the brilliant Superego.
However there is a distinct lack of “oomph” in Caracal and the duos decision to go for a more soulful sound is neither here or there. Opener Nocturnal ft The Weeknd doesn’t ascend and ends up getting stagnant halfway through when the Canadian R&B singer repeats the title for half a minute. Even their new moody collaboration Omen with now megastar Sam Smith is not that spectacular. Of course, comparisons to their previous collaboration Latch are inevitable; while Omen is good – Latch is better.
But what Caracal lacks in uniqueness it makes up for in charisma with help from Discloure’s wide-ranging contributing musical pals. So it isn’t groundbreaking, that’s ok, because Caracal is still an enjoyable listen and a testament to the duo’s talent.
Recommended songs: Willing & Able, Magnets, Jaded, Good Intentions, Superego