Burial – Untrue


A great deal of the fascination that trails Burial’s music is caused by the London producer’s own determined anonymity. Knowing so little about an artist—and in this case, a dubstep producer—entices the listener to closely study their music. His self-titled debut was an acclaimed success and yet, Burial maintains that only five people even know that he makes music.

Burial began to work on Untrue following a brief hiatus after the triumph of his debut. Judging by the responses found in his scarce interviews (how can anyone interview him anyways?) he doesn’t appear to embrace the idea of success too much. And though he claims that his music is only intended for a select few that truly understand what he is trying to accomplish, it’s too alluring to ignore. With Untrue, he has managed to craft an even better and more evocative listen than its predecessor.

The beauty of this album is that from the gorgeous “Archangel” to the majestic “Raver,” everything in between is lush and exceptional. It’s as if Burial has chosen to invite you into his enigmatic and guarded life through his music. And this is supported by every single sound here; trough every crack, echo, spectral vocal layering, to the top-notch samples, everything on this album speaks of isolation and seclusion.

The high points are continuous and never-ending; something as gloomy and still melodic as “Ghost Hardware” is significant. “Etched Headplate” starts with some spoken words before it’s taken over by an effervescent bassline and what appears to be hand claps. “Shell of Light” starts with a simple drum beat before layers and layers of resonance are added to create a blissfully dulcet song. Once you get to the poignant closer—embedded with probably the best drumbeat on the entire album—you feel privileged for being allowed a glimpse within Burial’s life.

The aforementioned “Archangel” is a clear stand out and depressing lyrics, “Kissing you, tell me I belong, tell me I belong” merely enhance its general brooding impression. The strings sound like glorious angels swooping in and out off the sky and the way that Burial tightly wounds everything is genius. The cry comes in at just the right time, the drums fade at the perfect spot and re-enter seamlessly; the whole song is poetic in its lyrics.

There are countless moments like this, as each song is cut of the same cloth as “Archangel.” The songs sound as if Burial intended to portray that hum you can still hear after a night in the club. That faded, blurry sound that’s meshed in with voices and atmospheric sounds. Through every snap, fuzzed coating, scratch, drum kick and vocal melody, this is one painstakingly comprehensive listen.

This is an album meant to be heard on headphones, in your room alone, or as you drive home—as long as its personal, solitary and intimate. Even as someone who knows very little about electronic music, this album is affecting. You will never get the urge to skip a song and you will desire and covet every sound that’s emitted from this album because they make up one tremendous, collective entity in Untrue.