Pop Perspective: Disclosure And Sam Smith’s “Omen” Reviewed And Rated By Idolator Editors
At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high-quality pop. Occasionally, our tastes align. Other times, not so much! So, in the spirit of debate, we’ve developed a recurring feature called Pop Perspective. Basically, all four of us dissect a particularly noteworthy pop event, and give it a rating out of 10.
That way you’re getting a full spectrum of views and we can all vent. (It’s cheaper than therapy!) The latest pop milestone to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Sam Smith’s much-hyped reunion with Disclosure. Does “Omen” live up to the brilliance of breakthrough hit “Latch” or does it fall a little flat? Read our thoughts below.
Robbie Daw — 8/10
After a string of ballads that helped Sam Smith secure enough awards to fill at least two bookshelves over the past year, it’s pretty fantastic to hear the British crooner getting back to the upbeat house-pop that first catapulted him into the public consciousness.
Now, it would be easy to try to pass Disclosure’s “Omen” off as a pale comparison to mega-hit “Latch,” but that would be unfair. For one, we’ve all had at least a full year or more to digest “Latch” and let the song fully saturate our ears and minds. But given that “Omen” only premiered this week, the fact that the chorus of the slowly swaggering club jam is so immediately catchy is a testament to the four forces involved here — Guy and Howard Lawrence, Smith and songwriter Jimmy Napes — firing on all cylinders, creatively.
In my book, “Omen” is the glorious summer jam that we’ve been missing until this point, and hopefully it hangs around well into the fall months, too.
Bianca Gracie — 8/10
When I first got word that Sam Smith would be reuniting with Disclosure, I was very nervous. 2013’s “Latch” was SUCH a massive pop anthem, and I didn’t want the UK boys to attempt to recreate that studio magic and fail. Thankfully, “Omen” — Disclosure’s new single off Caracal — does the complete opposite.
Rather than solely sticking to the mainstream appeal, the electronic duo remain faithful to their deep house roots to create a solid record that can easily transfer itself between pop radio and underground dance clubs.
Sam Smith, who is looking quite svelte in the music video, takes a break from his “woe is me” tones and returns to his brooding groove. The singer’s vocals are downright sultry, and are a perfect match for Disclosure’s bubbling synths and weighty percussion. After listening to “Omen,” I couldn’t be more excited to hear the other collaborations featured on the upcoming album.
Carl Williott — 6/10
“Omen” is leagues ahead of “Holding On,” let’s get that established. But maybe I’m suffering from Sam Smith falsetto fatigue, because the high-reaching chorus here just doesn’t do it for me the way it did on “Latch” or “Stay With Me.” And while the arrangement is pretty with its micro squiggles and wobbles, it sounds like it could’ve come from Settle. That first album was such a fresh change-of-pace from the reigning EDM sounds, but nothing about these three Caracal songs suggests album two will be anything more than a serviceable retread. I hope I’m wrong!
Also, this video starts with a title card reading “Two Weeks Later,” as if there are people out there who set aside brain space to remember where this bloated video saga left off.
Mike Wass — 6/10
At this point, I feel like Sam Smith has been delivering the same vocal for the last two years. Whether backed by strings or a thumping house beat, the Brit never fails to bring out that falsetto and it’s starting to be a little dull. And if this production is any indication, Disclosure find themselves in a similar creative rut. “Omen” sounds like elevator music for polite hipsters. It’s slick and catchy, but goes in one ear and out the other. As for the video, this sci-fi/occult-themed trilogy is more confusing than the new season of True Detective. I just don’t have the time.
AVERAGE SCORE: 7/10