Burial
Untrue


4.5
superb

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (113 Reviews)
June 4th, 2018 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Alone.

Untrue is an album that lives and dies by its explorative touch. For a record so deeply indebted to its clever uses of electronic instrumentation and sampling, Burial’s second studio effort sounds anything but artificial when you let it seep from speaker into ear. There’s an immediate sense of being transported into a different setting, a different congregation of people, a different time of day. And I think most of this is attributed to the fact that Burial revels in the ability to let the music just sink in. These songs take plenty of time to fester in the eardrums, making sure to allow the full scope of the atmosphere settle in once every last musical ornament has been brought to the mix. Some moments, such as the small interlude “In McDonalds,” just hang in a deeply unsettling, uneasy state while you’re wondering if any “beat” might enter the fray. However, even the tracks that do rely much more on their beats are still equipped with the ability to constantly put the listener in a place of unease, such as the mesmerizing synth/vocal attack of “Ghost Hardware” or the looming-and-lumbering bass wobbles of “Etched Headplate.”

Untrue has often been compared to dark cityscapes, and it’s for a damn good reason. Something about it sounds so utterly intertwined with cold industrialism, dilapidated skyscrapers, and lonely alleyways, as well as the lonely faceless people who inhabit such dreary locales. And this is all quite immediate when you start up the album; the untitled intro is a formless, shapeless mass of dark keyboards that’s eventually complimented by the gloomy soundscapes and heavily manipulated vocal chops of “Archangel.” Somehow, Burial is able to find that powerful sweet spot between the intangible and the tangible, the ethereal and the all-to-real. The synthesizers and pulsing basslines make for something that sounds like an out-of-body experience, but you’re always being flung back down to earth by the weight of each song’s grim, morbid sense of reality. “Etched Headplate” might just be the best example of this; the beautifully wispy, faint vocal utterances and cascading synths on top always seem to contradict the sense of dread and fear emanating from the deep bass, but they mesh in a way that they’re one and the same. It’s as if you’re staring up at a brilliantly lit sky from a bottomless chasm, and the feeling is simply unmatchable.

As others have previously stated, I too get the feeling that this entire record was written with the underground in mind. This has even been confirmed by Burial himself, and it goes a long way in describing why he imbued his music with such a sheltered and murky vibe. Along with the theme of city life that’s so often associated with this record, the other common themes are introspection and reflection. It’s astounding that electronic music can sound so human, but the inner turmoil and hopelessness presented by songs like “In McDonalds” and the densely packed title track prove that Burial can achieve the same results as any highly personal singer-songwriter could. And by cleverly maintaining his anonymity (at least for a long while), he could strike a more universal chord with his listeners and prove that he didn’t need to cling to an identity to sell his craft. Because, no matter how much you can hear his own touch within the music, the effect and the atmosphere are what ultimately matter the most. This isn’t just music we can listen to, it’s music we can dwell in. It’s a city. It’s a complicated network of subway stations. It’s a lonely building that hasn’t seen human life in ages. It’s a crowded sidewalk awash with strangers you may never see again. Or maybe the music is just reshaping how we perceive the lifelong struggle of being alone and detached. That sounds even more real.



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user ratings (1867)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SoccerRiot
June 4th 2018


5350 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I was trying to offer a different perspective from the fifty thousand other people who already touched on this record. I'm not sure if I succeeded at that, lol

BlackwaterPork
June 4th 2018


4322 Comments


Never listened to this tbh

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Demon of the Fall
June 4th 2018


8661 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It’s aight, kinda boring in places

Digging: Horrendous - Anareta

granitenotebook
June 4th 2018


781 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"It’s a crowded sidewalk awash with strangers you may never see again." best way i've seen that put in a while. great review



bloc
June 4th 2018


52995 Comments


Godly album

Digging: Sparks - No. 1 in Heaven

osmark86
June 4th 2018


7711 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Changed a lot of my perspectives on how electronic/sample based music could sound like. Fantastic album and still sounds fresh.

hal1ax
June 4th 2018


11703 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

incredible album



boring review

Sinternet
June 4th 2018


17513 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

review is dece but i think you kinda miss the whole aspect of this being the sound of the downtrodden working class, rather than just an industrial cityscape

Digging: Pool Kids - Music to Practice Safe Sex To

TheSpaceMan
June 5th 2018


11569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I was trying to offer a different perspective from the fifty thousand other people who already touched on this record. I'm not sure if I succeeded at that, lol



from review:



"Untrue has often been compared to dark cityscapes, and it’s for a damn good reason. Something about it sounds so utterly intertwined with cold industrialism, dilapidated skyscrapers, and lonely alleyways, as well as the lonely faceless people who inhabit such dreary locales. And this is all quite immediate when you start up the album; the untitled intro is a formless, shapeless mass of dark keyboards that’s eventually complimented by the gloomy soundscapes and heavily manipulated vocal chops of “Archangel.” "



"As others have previously stated, I too get the feeling that this entire record was written with the underground in mind. This has even been confirmed by Burial himself, and it goes a long way in describing why he imbued his music with such a sheltered and murky vibe. "



"Along with the theme of city life that’s so often associated with this record, the other common themes are introspection and reflection.... It’s a city. It’s a complicated network of subway stations. It’s a lonely building that hasn’t seen human life in ages. It’s a crowded sidewalk awash with strangers you may never see again. Or maybe the music is just reshaping how we perceive the lifelong struggle of being alone and detached. That sounds even more real."



hal1ax
June 5th 2018


11703 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yup, lol

TheSpaceMan
June 5th 2018


11569 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

like i hate to be a dick but bro how can you post a review for Burial - Untrue as a reviewer with a tag, spending half of it talking about it giving off the vibe of a city, and not be trolling with that comment lol

hal1ax
June 5th 2018


11703 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

would've liked more personality in a review for an album that has already been analyzed a jillion times. just felt kinda perfunctory and superficial

Darius the Great
June 5th 2018


18448 Comments


Brendan I like your reviews but I really feel like you should put more effort into reviewing less obvious/mainstream material, and definitely less material that like hal said, has been reviewed and analyzed to death 100 times already.
It's a waste of your time and talent tbh

bloc
June 5th 2018


52995 Comments


I haven't been in McDonalds in years

Doctuses
June 6th 2018


1840 Comments


What happened to ur contrib status my g?

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2018


16328 Comments


No Prisoners

Darius the Great
June 6th 2018


18448 Comments


What happened to ur contrib status [2]

are there demotions en masse going on

bloc
June 7th 2018


52995 Comments


Oh shit what



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