Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Omen

Can’t see title without imagining Sam Smith in a remake of The Omen, life ruined, bye.


Alfred Soto: Never again should a manager permit Sam Smith to sing on anything except Disclosure’s clippety-clop stutter beats, even if these beats are recycled from last year’s not bad Mary J. Blige project.

Thomas Inskeep: I liked “Holding On” a fair amount (though I couldn’t hum it if you paid me, and would give it a 6 today), but this is the Disclosure single we’ve been waiting for. Sam Smith, much like Antony, leaves me cold on his own material, especially ballads. But wrapped in Disclosure’s warm MK-esque production, he shines like a cubic zirconia. The Lawrence brothers know exactly how to best place Smith’s voice in a setting that shows it off without making it show-off-ish (cf. “Stay With Me”). And “Omen” wobbles and grooves like the best house records.

Abby Waysdorf: The gang’s back together, and I’m pretty thrilled. A lot of critics are discomfited by Smith’s outsize melodrama and willingness to be weak, but I’ve always found him very affective. “Omen” finds him back with Disclosure and well ensconced in my favorite use of his particular tone and style, that of house diva. It’s a genre he doesn’t go into enough, but that makes the most of his talents and style: the drama channelled into catharsis. As with the previous collaboration between the two, Smith humanizes the frequently conveyor-belt electro of the Lawrence brothers, while they disrupt his tendency to drift towards adult-contemporary blandness. It’s not unique or groundbreaking by any means (there’s been lots of pop-house in the top 40 during the past couple years), but it’s enjoyable as hell. 

Patrick St. Michel: It turns out the only time Sam Smith sounds OK to me is within the boundaries of a Disclosure song, and even then I’m scared I’m giving this one extra point because the ending of the video implies the dystopian cops detected Sam Smith and had to arrest him. Still, this is pretty much wallpaper, lacking any of the fizzy drama that threatened to dissolve “Latch,” but pleasant enough.

Scott Mildenhall: After “Holding On” probably didn’t live up to expectations, chartwise, there was only one option: deploy the Smithbomb. This one carries less power than the first, but it burrows over time. Smith’s vocals melt into the regulation Disclosure liquid, a coalescence of sleek sound upon sleek sound, and the result is an even glide, rather than anything particularly effervescent (or yelpy). As per the actually more chart-successful Rudimental, it’s little more than a watering down of initial glories, but for now it will suffice.

Katherine St Asaph: “Defeated No More II: Still Not Defeated,” except instead of Ed Macfarlane’s dismayingly effective panting we have Sam Screech — mercifully kept to the bottom 75% of his range, but still the equivalent of Michael Bolton fed on lukewarm milk. At one point a Disclosure track called “Omen” might have seemed enticing.

Brad Shoup: The song about devotion had the grating hook, and the song about causing your partner pain is smooth as hell. You hear a lot of songs where the singer’s bluffing his way out of the split. This one’s sort of like that, but with the gas turned all the way up. Smith does a killer Bobby Caldwell while the brothers draw up a disco skitter, something brisk enough to keep the lovers in intricate proximity.

Reader average: [5.8] (5 votes)

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