‘Playing Favourites’ is an irregular series in which I share some of my favourite albums, or just whatever I’m listening to at the time. I’ve wanted to do this since I started the blog, then Christine’s album adventure inspired me to make the effort to actually do it.
These aren’t really reviews and they aren’t new discoveries, though they might be sometimes. More a slightly self-indulgent sharing of some things I like. Some albums will be very well known, others may just have a few highlights, others I think deserve to be bigger and more widely-known than they are. All in my humble opinion, of course.
First up is something for this amazing hot summer of 2018 we’re enjoying.
Spotify (direct link):
This is a great listen for the summer!
It combines a mixture of vocal pop with more club-focused dance tracks, with a strong house influence. This is an album of collaborations with Disclosure providing the music and guest singers lending their voices.
When MJ Cole released ‘Sincere‘ and ‘Crazy Love’, back in about 2000, the sound I hoped would follow is what Disclosure have created in this album. It really does feel like an advancement on that style (which was a clear departure from the UK Garage scene it was included within) – I’m glad it exists.
Probably the most familiar songs from the time of release are ‘Latch’ featuring Sam Smith giving a great performance, and ‘White Noise’ featuring AlunaGeorge. ‘White Noise’ makes me feel like I’m in a club aged 20 again.
Other highlights include ‘You & Me’ (ft. Eliza Doolittle), ‘Defeated No More’ (ft. Ed MacFarlane from Friendly Fires) – and ‘Voices’ (ft. Sasha Keable), which I never heard anywhere at the time yet is one of the best on the album.
For me, ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’ and ‘Grab Her!’, though very catchy, they aren’t my thing. The first has a really good hook and I wish they’d not looped the vocal so often as I think it takes away from it. The other I don’t care for at all and it just doesn’t fit the rest of the album. I think they learned this for ‘Caracal’, the second album, which is more flowing.
What’s interesting about ‘Settle’ is at the first few listens it sounds like an upbeat summery album to while away the day. Then when you listen to what they’re saying you find there’s a lot more depth to it.
There are 14 songs on the original release, the Deluxe version adds four more including the infectious ‘What’s In Your Head’.
I planned to have a ‘top tracks’ section before I knew which album would go first. It just so happens the first pick has at least seven that I think would be considered standouts on most albums! There’s a lot of good stuff on this one.
- Latch (ft Sam Smith)
- White Noise (ft AlunaGeorge)
- You & Me (ft Eliza Doolittle)
- Voices (ft Sasha Keable)
- January (ft James Woon)
- And from the Deluxe edition are ‘What’s In Your Head’ plus the Disclosure remix of Jessie Ware’s ‘Running’ which is totally different to the original (which is also really good).