words by Jacqui Wonder

Upon first listen, the much awaited Caracal from Disclosure didn’t grab me, shake me up and down, spank me, wind me and leave me breathless like their debut Settle did, but after playing on repeat and now, much rump shaking, I’m convinced that the UK bro’s have delivered the goods again, with some pretty power collabs to boot.

Why the hesitation? Compared to what was coming out as a relatively unknown quantity with Settle, the build up and anticipation of Caracal has been building (for me at least) for an age. The initial release ‘Holding On’ featuring Gregory Porter has been a regular, albeit solid, set feature for months now. If you’re like me, ‘Omen’ with Sam Smith has notched up a top spot on your frequently played too.

That said (if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times), I just want Sam Smith and Disclosure to keep making smooth, beautiful music babies. And in particular, if Disclosure keep procreating with the calibre of artists that are on this album I’ll never run out of praise for them, go forth and sleep with the rest of the music industry boys.

The brothers have once again managed to work with each of their collaborators to create tracks unique to each of those partnerships; Kwabs, The Weeknd, LION BABE, Lorde, Miguel, Nao, Jordan Rakei, Brendan Reilly and of course Sam Smith and Gregory Porter – big names plus some emerging talent, signature house sounds, every single collab unique as it borrows from Disclosure‘s and that respective artists’ own style.

Who could have picked ‘Magnets’ with Lorde would turn out as it did? Nao jam ‘Superego’ will tempt you to draw similarities with Settle collaborators AlunaGeorge but the electro R’n’B combination works wonders. Make sure you give a listen to the track with Aussie Jordan Rakei who seriously represents with smooth, baby-making electro-ballad ‘Masterpiece’.

Picks of the album? Rhetorical question, there are no standouts, IT’S ALL GOLD. My only criticism, if you could call it that, would be that where Disclosure have leaned into the poppy house/garage sound that has been so successful for them, there’s less of the more experimental work we heard on Settle, which is great for making sure you have ‘all killer, no filler’ but what about keeping it fresh? What’s next?

Rating: ★★★★☆ (if only because I find it impossible to rate this higher than 2013’s Settle)

Go grab yourself a copy of Caracal (Deluxe) now from iTunes.

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