Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Disclosure ft. Gregory Porter – Holding On

Just holding on to critical favour, these guys.


[Video][Website]
[6.00]

Josh Winters: Somehow, “rejected Settle B-sides” still makes for solid dance-pop.
[7]

Alfred Soto: I don’t dislike it, but Disclosure’s trick of letting the dubstep crackles cut through a one- or two-note synth hook over which a singer’s histrionic title catchphrase trembles is getting tiresome, and the forced climax explained on cue cards. Mary J. Blige’s “Follow” did this better. Not that Porter lacks force — he lacks the personality to overcome Disclosure’s hardening mannerisms.
[5]

Thomas Inskeep: Porter is a Yank “jazz” vocalist who’s become big in Britain: great, rich voice with dull, cliché-ridden lyrics. Team him up with the Disclosure boys and suddenly he goes from the first 1:20 of Terry Callier’s 1982 classic “I Don’t Want To See Myself (Without You)” to the rest of the song, from snoozy acoustic soul (somewhere, Tony Rich is weeping) to Mister Sunday classic. This is Disclosure at their best, making deep, super-soulful house, and I’ll argue that Porter compliments their production better than a singer like Mary J. Blige, who can’t resist the need to belt where subtlety may service the song better. And Porter gets that.
[8]

Iain Mew: Gregory Porter’s voice-from-the-depths bit at the beginning and the way Disclosure warp his voice around the beats is strange and effective, like we’ve just arrived at a dramatic climactic moment and are about to experience the aftermath. In practice they don’t go any deeper from there, but the effect does keep holding on.
[6]

Katherine St Asaph: Disclosure, in 2015, have split, Star Trek-style, into Crass Disclosure and Tasteful Disclosure. I prefer the latter, which may make me the enemy within (the crit world); but everyone loved “You and Me” at the time, and this is functionally identical. I await the split-off of SteelyCreepy Disclosure.
[7]

Scott Mildenhall: This would have been one of the weaker singles from Settle, if a single at all. It also displays precisely zero progress from Settle, which isn’t a hindrance to its quality, but if continued will open Disclosure up to being left behind. As a voice that suits their aesthetic (and, fortuitously, operates within a mainstream milieu) Gregory Porter is a good choice of collaborator, but he has little to work with. Melody was what those prior singles thrived on, but save for the parts in the verses that sound like “H.A.P.P.Y. Radio,” “Holding On” has a severe dearth of it.
[6]

Will Adams: Thank God, the lunkheaded bore of “Bang That” was just a bad nightmare. “Holding On” isn’t a particularly innovative entry in the Lawrence brothers’ discography, but when a formula works so well, I won’t complain.
[7]

Alex Ostroff: Disclosure are still capable of making decent Disclosure tracks that sound like Disclosure. If you were worried about whether this was the case, you will likely be excited about “Holding On.” If you were dreading that this is the extent of their ambition/ability/sound, you will likely be disappointed by “Holding On.” If you’re me, you will spend most of it wondering whether Storm Queen’s long-rumoured full-length is ever going to surface. “Holding On” doesn’t reach the heights of “Latch” or “White Noise” but by the time Settle came out, it was fairly clear that was what the Lawrence brothers were doing, and this is good enough for them to coast on.
[6]

Maxwell Cavaseno: … Oh I get it, held note, and therefore like, “Holding On”. Yeah. Ha-ha… *Rolls eyes and weakly grins, looking a bit peaky* Well, I mean, this 2-step bit is nice, I’m all for some MJ Cole pastiche. Its just that those synth licks, the drops are all a bit TOO stadium, too prepared for the built in sense of approval that Disclosure need.
[5]

Brad Shoup: A voice as steady as Porter’s demands a better bassline, or less of one. How do you tab a jazz star just to have him groove pitches? These brothers flew way too close to the sun.
[5]

Ramzi Awn: “Holding On” has everything London pop has to offer, save for Gregory Porter, who does it no favors.
[4]

Patrick St. Michel: The backlash against Disclosure was inevitable, though they certainly didn’t help themselves by air-balling it all their own. Odds are that narrative will continue on, although “Holding On” doesn’t really press it forward. It doesn’t stop it either — this is Disclosure remembering all the ingredients that go into a Disclosure song. Good singer, solid groove that never gets too hectic, no forced twerk talk. It lacks the emotional urgency that defines their best singles, but offers a good listen all the same, even if it won’t change anything. People who hate this mutation of house music are still going to dislike this, while the casual listener who can’t get around to watching that three-hour BBC documentary about dance music will probably be OK with it. Disclosure aren’t falling off completely, they just learned how to be serviceable.
[6]

Reader average: [6.5] (2 votes)

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