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4.5 out of 5 stars77
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Vinyl|Change
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on 15 April 2008
Ive listened to this album start to finish more times than any other i can think of recently.
My dad died last November, and this album almost became a 'comfort blanket' for me, I listened to it so many times. Just hauntingly beautiful and has a superb mood that just sucks you in and surrounds you.

On the surface, it seems like garage/ dubstep music with an unhealthy dose of depression, but it goes much deeper. Each tune swells and emotes with atmospheric brilliance.
Standout tracks for me are Etched Headplate, Shell of light, in McDonalds and Near dark. Theres not a bad song on the album.

Few albums ive heard work so well 'as a whole' than this.
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on 20 August 2014
Most of the time I'm busy concerning myself with matters house and techno, there's much in my preferred genres to occupy mind, ears and feet. However, amongst techno mixes I started noticing tracks by Burial appearing with greater frequency. Isn't Burial dubstep? Not to my mind, as another reviewer put it his music is beyond genre, a kind of distillation of all things dance, it's highly accomplished stuff. Burial's tracks have that ultra rare quality in that they hit me hard emotionally. I feel tearful but not sad and I don't know why, just that the tracks resonate so very strongly with me. It's a brilliant work of wholeness that works as one continuing piece, great 'at home in the evening' listening. As Sabres of Paradise's Haunted Dancehall album was to techno, so is Burial's Untrue album to dubstep. Untrue even has similarities with Haunted Dancehall when it comes to mood and theme, there is definitely a link between the 2 albums despite the sonic differences. There is also a common thread when it comes to mood with DJ Shadows Entroducing, I mention these comparisons to also reflect the pedigree of an artist like Burial, we are talking crème de la crème.

This is my first Burial purchase and I'm so taken with it that I know it won't be long before I have his complete back catalogue.
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on 11 September 2008
Reminds me of a number of bands I used to listen to on the Warp label - Seefeel, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada - and none the worse for that. Also sounds like a direct descendent of Eno's early ambient works. Not sure where the dubstep label comes from but this is a mighty fine piece of work. I rarely listen to contemporary bands but heard a short clip of this on the Mercury Award show and was impressed enough to part with my cash. Certainly not disappointed. Love the way it reverbs around my flat and creates its own atmosphere.
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on 6 December 2007
This is scary, REALLY scary.
I don't mean that listening to it frightens the life out of me like watching some real life snuff movie may do, but scary in the sense that its unique stark sound jumps right out of the speakers and dares you not to listen to it.

The production is fantastically played down and crackles like electric pylons buzzing through a midnight storm in some remote area you'd rather not be but must venture towards - alone.

Yes it's dark, very dark yet strangely alluring, conjuring up images of a current bleak and barren Great Britain spiralling out of control and collapsing in on itself.
The last time I heard a piece of music that summed up the climate of the nation at the time, was The Specials' 'Ghost Town' in 1981. This gem of a record does exactly that, albeit in a totally different style and genre.

It's difficult to describe the actual music without pigeon-holing it into the Dubstep category in a bid to allow it to be appreciated by the masses, but this is MUCH more than that, it's refreshingly unique and in a league of its own.

It wont be everybody's cup of tea, granted but at the risk of missing out on something that paints such a magnificently dark and thought provoking soundscape of good old Blighty today - treat yourself to this album.
Like it or loathe it, it would be criminal to ignore it - at least once.
Give the man a medal.
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on 6 November 2007
Burial begins the quality onslaught yet again; standing head and shoulder above his contemporaries. Here he has diffused yet more of the trademark edgy tension that smacks of a limping Britain.

This is a subtle continuation of the first album, yet it somehow feels more wound up, as though the tracks simmer with silent frustration. The tracks ebb and flow serenely as though they are mirroring a strange urban narrative.

Busy rhythmic arrangements and growling dub basslines are often pacified by compelling moments of emotive clarity. The track 'In McDonald's' does indeed evoke strangely familiar feelings of tired and lonely journeys.

Sounding a little more toned this time and yet still retaining the beauty of underproduction, this is another heavyweight album from the unknown anti-hero of Dubstep.
Bag it.
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on 22 January 2008
Burial was definitely not something I thought I would enjoy. Underground dance music is not my thing at all. I have many friends into drum & bass, dubstep, jungle and all that type stuff and there's only so much I can handle before pulling my hair out (about 30 seconds).
However, I caught a few reviews online of Burial's self titled album and was intrigued. I thought "what the hell!?", if I don't like it it's no big loss is it?
Burial's brand of dubstep evokes visions of dark city streets in the early hours of the morning; distant car headlights seen faintly through thick fog; breath streaming from cold mouths; windy deserted streets lined by boarded up houses. It evokes the underlying sense of despair that permeates working class urban Britain at night. It's a fantastically deep album. And all this from simple machines and vocal samples.
Everything is very analog sounding and drenched in rich reverb. The vocal samples all sound very distant yet personal. The beats aren't quite distorted but thay are far from clean.
Untrue has a very melancholy vibe to it that is far from aggressive. Even though dubstep is sheltered under that broad umbrella we call `dance music' you really couldn't dance to Burial. You could sway or nod your head but you wouldn't get Burial being played very often in the massive underground club scene Britain is nurturing at the moment.
I'd say Burial's closest spiritual partner is Portishead. They're both very dark, very mysterious, and very British at the same time. The only thing stopping Burial becoming big it it's very nature. Many people would be put off by it's darkness. It's not easy listening at all and it's not catchy. Portishead was very catchy and won lots of people's hearts because of the human element in Beth Gibbons' fragile voice. Burial uses detached, echoing samples and mechanical, repetetive beats. I think possibly the 2 step beats will put off a lot of people, just because it's reminiscent of how utterly awful garage music is, which is a shame.
I'm absolutely loving Burial at the moment and I don't really know why. It has that special something that will attract people from all types of musical backgrounds.
Great stuff.
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on 5 June 2010
This album is worth every penny! For starters the first thing you see when you open it is a little "Thank You" message which im guessing is from burial himself which i thought was a very nice touch. The brilliance doesnt stop there however, track 1 is ambient noise with a few words and then track 2 titled "archangel" hits you and by this point you wont be able to stop listening i can tell you! The people who have rated this album badly either have a very impersonal and bland taste in music or just simply don't understand the beauty and purpose of this album. It's not meant to sound perfectly mastered, not all the beats are supposed to fit tidily and cleanly, and its supposed to bring awe and amazement at a level deeper than loud bass in your face, thats the point! i would strongly urge all music lovers to give this one a go...
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on 28 March 2009
I listened to 'Ghost Hardware' as a free single of the week off i-Tunes, and I was confused: I'd never listened to music like this before, and didn't know what to make of it. Then finally I listened to 'Archangel' and I was floored. The distorted and pitched vocal repeating what sounds like 'let him be alone' in a loop sounded like one of the most profound things I'd ever heard.

Aaliyah's sampled, soulful voice coming out of the murk in 'In McDonalds' had extra pathos added to its yearning when I remembered she'd died in a plane-crash in 2001. The final track 'Raver' has a distant, rising and resolute synth-line that feels quite close to my DNA in how it connects so emotionally, and it's not something that's easy to explain without sounding hyperbolic. Burial knows where it hits hardest.
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on 14 July 2009
This album is absolutely sublime; no questions asked. "Archangeal" is probably my favourite track - i love the emotional distorted vocals, but the rest of the album is quality. One thing that annoys me though is how every man and his dog are labeling this album as "dubstep". It isn't. There is just no comparison if you compare this album to anything produced by Benga, Rusko, Skream.... Don't get me wrong, I think dubstep is an excellent genre of music (although it can get heavy over repeated listens) but I think that it is unfair to group Burial into this category - he's created something truly unique here, perhaps more like upbeat trip-hop music if anything. Anyway, rant over, buy this album, it's a refreshing break from any tripe you're going to hear in the charts at the moment (or ever).
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on 8 January 2009
I was unaware of Burial and this body of work, only discovering such having heard a track from the Word magazines best of 2008 sampler cd(even though they confess themselves that it originally appeared in 2007). On the strength of the quality of this alone I secured the album and have hardly listened to anything else since. Difficult to categorise, dub step is the suggestion, although I would not immediately liken to Deep Forest or Enigma as a previous reviewer alluded to, it is far darker. This really is atmospheric music, I particualrly enjoyed listening to the album one dark afternoon just prior to christmas looking out over a most glorious winter sunset with a glass of red in hand. The future sound of London?
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