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181 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untrue
The council houses in London possess an aura that is easier to feel than it is to explain. Often covered in fresh tile and paint and given attractive names, they contain many of the city's former criminals, violent children and sexual deviants. I used to jog at midnight and come upon the council houses, always devoid of life from the outside, yet teeming with rotten...
Published on November 29, 2007 by Mike Newmark

versus
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IF you like THIS...
Message to adventurous explorers of the music kingdom who enjoy the music on "Untrue" by Burial... let me point you on down the road a bit to something else you will probably enjoy when you are ready:

Burial is sampling here, building collages with those samples, making a lot of references to loss and betrayal and showing us some bleak, dimly lit urban...
Published on April 3, 2008 by R. MARK Plummer


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181 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untrue, November 29, 2007
By 
Mike Newmark (Tarzana, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
The council houses in London possess an aura that is easier to feel than it is to explain. Often covered in fresh tile and paint and given attractive names, they contain many of the city's former criminals, violent children and sexual deviants. I used to jog at midnight and come upon the council houses, always devoid of life from the outside, yet teeming with rotten things behind its clean façade. Every night I would return to them, both repelled and magnetized by their unnerving paradox of innocuousness and evil, letting the ghostly atmosphere of the council houses take me over in some puzzling, profound way.

Whether he knows it or not, anonymous London producer Burial makes music sound like council houses feel. His eponymous debut in 2006 capitalized on the eerie sensation of London at night by taking the rhythmic patterns and instrumentation of dubstep, a chiefly British genre, and blackening the palette. The drums sounded like knives hitting steel; the record crackles evoked raindrops; the bass was so low that it seemed to operate at subsonic frequencies. Every so often, a voice would make its strangled way up the surface, crying for everyone in London who wanted out before trailing off into the unforgiving cityscape.

As a dubstep album, Burial did double duty by raising the bar and providing a solid introduction to neophytes, but it faltered whenever it moved too close to standard dubstep skank for comfort. Untrue--Burial's sophomore effort and masterpiece-- jettisons everything that kept his last record from being a truly immersive experience, ratchets up the emotionality, and comes bathed in an unearthly, ineffable glow. In an interview with Hyperdub Records, Burial speaks of conceiving Untrue in the dead of night with the television murmuring and getting lost in the music as he made it. Indeed, Untrue is rooted in time and place (don't try listening to this in the afternoon), but amorphous enough to invite the kind of fascinated exploration that kept me coming back to the council houses time and time again.

It's a good thing that Burial stuck to one concept on Untrue, because what a concept it is. The music retains Burial's bleakness and trademark dubstep rhythms, but every track now contains disembodied R&B vocals similar to those you heard on MTV in the 1990`s--think Keith Sweat, Faith Evans, or any diva or crooner who made a killing singing the same garbage over and over. Stripped of their original context, though, these vocal fragments take on a powerfully yearning quality, whose diction may be smeared into indecipherability but whose meaning is clear and true. It is as though all of the vapid, shallow soul music of the previous decade has come back to haunt us in our dreams.

In fact, yearning is the prevailing emotion on Untrue. I'm reminded of Jonathan Safran Foer's short story, A Primer for the Punctuation of Heart Disease, in which he outlined punctuation marks to be used when words will not suffice. The mark that defines Untrue is the ellipsis, or for Foer, the pedal point (~), "indicating dissolution into suggestive silence." These songs feel like an outstretched hand, an attempt at communication that may be reciprocated or may fall unheeded into dead space. The bass drums seem to knock on something loose and wobbly, bringing to mind a jilted lover banging his palm on the steering wheel; the snare drums hit the counterpoints and then hang there with nothing else to fill the void. Sometimes the beats drop out altogether, as on "Endorphin," when Burial lets only a child's cry and a heart-busting ambient melody take us where we need to go.

Where we go on Untrue is someplace we only think we've been before. Trip-hop is the closest reference point, but Untrue is its own beast--a half-familiar dream with half-familiar elements. "Near Dark"s lame loverman refrain, "I can't take my eyes off you," is uncharacteristically despondent. The slow, undulating textures and diva vocals of "Ghost Hardware" may nod to mid-career Massive Attack, yet they're undercut by chattering rhythms that suggest a state of panic. Often, Burial beats Massive Attack at their own darkly evocative game: "In McDonalds" finds him painting a solemn picture of what it's like to eat at McDonalds during the graveyard shift, looking at the flickering fluorescents and the limp burger in front of you. He nailed it.

Burial claims that his desire to remain anonymous has to do with keeping his music separate from his personal life. So perhaps he's perfectly content to stay in the shadows for as long as it takes, yet Untrue bears the unmistakable mark of an artist struggling to connect. The young man on the cover... Is that Burial himself? What is he thinking? In "Archangel," the vocalist repeats, "If I trust you..." to no reply. On Untrue, Burial offers this conditional to us, reluctantly reaching out in the hope that someone will be listening on the other end.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what the future sounds like, November 10, 2007
This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
...and it couldn't come a moment too soon. Easily my favorite album of 2007 so far. This blows his previous release out of the water in my opinion. "Massive Attack in 2020", like the other reviewer says, hits it right on the head. I can't stop listening to this, trying to get all my friends to listen to it, and now trying to get everyone on Amazon to listen to it.

It's dark, it's atmospheric, it's brilliant. Never pretentious, but always taking the next step. If you liked the trip-hop greats (Massive Attack, Portishead, DJ Shadow circa Endtroducing), you can't help but love this. In fact, this may be my favorite electronic album since Endtroducing, and Endtroducing changed my life. Untrue is that good.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Luscious, November 21, 2007
This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
Anonymous UK dubstepping phenom Burial has smoothly taken the decaying trip hop genre and shoved it into the 21st century. UNTRUE is a muted, whispery masterpiece with scratchy percussive dance beats and coiled echoing vocals; sorta like listening outside some underground London nightclub marked only by a humming caged blue light by its entrance. Awesomely addictive, with a seductive texture, this record is well on its way to making every Top 10 list for 2007, and speaks highly to what someone can do with a personal computer and an endless sonic imagination.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burial delivers an ace follow-up to his 2006 self-titled release., November 6, 2007
By 
J. Brooks (Central Coast of California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
Did anyone think that Burial's sophomore CD could top his self-titled epic from 2006? I did not, but this does. For dubstep fans you are all ready all over this. For those wondered what Massive Attack would sound like in 2020? This is it. Nothing sounds this next-level, dark and beautiful. Burial delivers huge.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghost in the Machine, December 22, 2007
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This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
I imagine this is what a vast intelligence hears when synthesizing data excavated from long abandoned hardware after a mass diaspora of Earth. This is what they pieced together.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues for the next millenium, September 18, 2008
By 
Giuseppe A. Paleologo "gappy" (Riverdale, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Untrue (MP3 Music)
Burial is coming out of nowhere. He's publicity-shy, he's not touring and he concerns himself primarily with his beats. The palette is parsimonious: all is very sparse, but it never feels bare or cheap. Clearly, there are lots of influences here. Whereas the previous album was a nice crossover of dub, Drum & Bass, and Boards of Canada (!?), this one has an almost trance and garage feeling with eurotrash voices coming from another planet. There are echoing synthesizers that seem lifted from AFX Ambient Classic II and early Autechre (say, Garbage). The album is infectious and almost danceable (again, in a different planet). But the best thing about Burial is that his sound is instantly recognizable. It is original, honest. Given the intimate lyrics and melancholic mood, I would classify this as a Blues album for the next millenium.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future is Here., March 23, 2008
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This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
Remember back in 1997 when techno and dance was supposed to be the music of the future? Remember that?

Journalists raved, but the public yawned. There were some great techno albums, but relatively few that demanded and rewarded prolonged attention. Many just didn't promise an interesting future--they offered us Hill Valley, circa 2015. Sonic landscapes that were mildly entertaining, but not compelling, with everything bright and precise and utopian--fine for the shiny-shirt club crowd, but unsatisfying for anyone craving complicated emotions and experiences.

Well, this album isn't "Back to the Future II." It's more like "Blade Runner." A dingy distorted place, depressing but fascinating, soulful and real.

It's ironic--digital audio perfection is more attainable then ever, but the stuff that sounds best often approximates analog authenticity. The tunes on Untrue snap, crackle and pop as if the DJ left an open mic next to his bowl of Rice Krispies, recorded everything on vinyl, then broadcast it to you over a static-filled radio station. The beats are perfect because they're imperfect, more man than machine. And over--or rather, around and through--them, warped vocals wander in and out like lost souls, ghosts of your exes wailing about desire and longing and betrayal. You can't quite make out everything they're saying, but because of that, you can't forget it, either.

It all feels natural and real, but like the best art, what looks effortless is purposeful. Calculated for maximum emotional effect, contrived without seeming so. These haunting tracks describe your world--or at least the way your world feels when you're walking home alone on a desolate city night. It's a grim dystopia of urban decay and existential emptiness, but still far more interesting than anything you'll find when the sun's up. The future's here, and it ain't a happy place, but you won't want to leave.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take it for what it is., March 12, 2008
By 
achtung (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
I really connect with this album. I'm not absolutely sure why, but perhaps it's because the music seems to take me to a place that I'm not at now, but that I want to be. It seems to encourage sense of wonder and discovery, which was probably was Burial was feeling when he was creating this album.

The style is not entirely retro, but it takes me back to a time when music ignited a feeling of curiosity in me. It's what I felt when I found my first favorite radio station that played music that I liked 24 hours a day. I wasn't really familiar with music at that time, but every sound that I heard seemed altogether new and interesting.

For Burial to make an album that inspired the same feelings from my childhood when I'm now past the age of 20 is truly remarkable. It's the kind of spark that is missing from most albums that come out nowadays, but I'll be satisfied as long as an album like this comes out every once in a while.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Field Meets Massive Attack, January 24, 2008
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This review is from: Untrue (MP3 Music)
Burial is in a class by himself. But if you're familiar with Massive Attack and The Field, think of a marriage of the two and you won't be far off. This was my first foray into the emerging subgenre of dubstep and since then I've been chasing the dragon: I've looked everywhere for an album as fabulous as Untrue, and the only thing that comes close is Burial's eponymous first album. The other stars of this drum&bassy genre make some catchy music if you're into modern minimalism, but it's Burial's use of distorted R&B vocals in addition to atmospheric beats that sets Untrue apart from, and above, the rest. Untrue is the best new music of any genre I've heard in 2007, and I listen to a lot of music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Noise, December 19, 2007
By 
Heavy Theta (Lorton, Va United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
For once one of the Village Vanguard's hipper than thou raves lives up to the hype. Regardless of how it was created, this stuff reminds me of that movie where ghostly fragments of sound are captured electronically. Chilling and fascinating, this really gets under your skin, setting off subliminal interference patterns. Perhaps too perfect a soundtrack for the Overlook or room 1408. Better yet, play it in you car while solo driving after midnight. I'd disregard the various comparisons to anything more conventional and familiar (Portishead, etc.), this is as original as it is compelling.
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Untrue
Untrue by Burial (Audio CD - 2007)
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