By the time Burial's second album surfaced, his reputation had grown to underground stardom, even if his identity was still a secret. 'Untrue' continued the story of the twilit inner city, loneliness and distant threats informing a melancholic rhythmic atmosphere, and is now seen as a landmark in electronic music.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 11 November 2007
Ah 'Untrue'. To me the pinnacle in the Burial catalogue and that is despite my ongoing issues with the amount of vocal snippets that litter some of the songs (I'm dealing with it...since 2007). Musically however it is utterly gorgeous with those murky garage beats underpinning glorious late night atmosphere's that he excels at. Take 'Archangel' as a blueprint for the record, the strings are utterly mesmerising, the vocals provide a human warmth to the eerie atmospheres. Between fully realised tracks such as this we get beautiful ambient pieces that recall Aphex Twin's 'Selected Ambient Works'. 'Homeless' really is the track that is a good example of the overcooked vocal samples - a bit more space would help the track immensely. But really it's a minor quibble. The album is much more varied and likeable than his debut and like Portishead's 'Dummy' has pretty much invented a genre that here I'll call 'rain-step'. An absolute classic record.
For your pleasure I'll include below my original review from 2007.
Can someone please re-issue this album in instrumental form, or at least with half the vocal samples removed? I don't think it's humanly possible to squeeze another wailing garage vocal into this record. Musically it's lovely, but it's like putting too much tomato ketchup on your chips.
10/10 AKS Customer review, 14th April 2017
What can be said about this album that hasn't already been said? Chances are, you've probably heard the opening track 'Archangel' at some point in the last decade. The blend of the haunting vocals and warm bassline has inspired a huge number of poor imitations which come nowhere near recreating the magic of this album.
Very few albums are able to so wholly evoke emotions of a very specific time or place in the listener. I've often heard that this album would be a perfect soundtrack to a late night walk around a city. It's easy to see how the sense of melancholy would fit empty, cold streets. Personally, this album recreates the feeling of sitting on a long night bus journey home after a good night out. The crackles, muffled vocals and driving beats make me feel elated yet also make me yearn for something vague and personal.
I don't know of many other albums that can create such a consistent and deep feeling when listening back to them. If the purpose of art is to make you feel, then this album is perfect.
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- Untrue by Burial
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