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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 January 2008
Never heard anything quite like this. It's haunting and magnificent, taking me on a journey round the streets of London I grew up in.

A muffled clatter of shutters, hissing neon lights, snatches of conversation and music drifting down from open windows. Late night buses. The last tube... And it's packed with emotion, the soundtrack to loners walking the streets, couples parting, doorway confrontations and confessions. Lush fragments of tunes overlaying irresistable beats.

Perhaps this is the album DJ Shadow should have made instead of the Outsider to keep fans of Endtroducing on side. But he didn't. It was left to Burial, unknown genius, to create this peerless masterpiece.
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on 29 October 2009
walking home from a club down deserted streets on your own, head barking in the distance...footsteps somewhere behind smashing down an's the sound of any urban city centre somewhere in the witching hour between 4.00am and 5.00 am...

It's dark and menacing and definitely NOT chill out music and yet it is somehow achingly beautiful and it truly breaks my heart every time i hear it. Like some other people have also said, i wouldn't even call it dubstep, it's so far out there on its own that you can't even compare it to any other genre. It's like someone got inside my head and diluted the sound of 20 years of my London clublife - house, rave, jungle, garage, techno, drum'n'bass - and then melted it all down and played it at slow-motion.

Burial, I salute you.

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on 6 November 2007
If anyone could be said to define the state of the nation, Burial would be that man.

This album is mournful, epic, and magnificent. It speaks of loss - a loss of what we once were perhaps. But to me at least it speaks of a loss of direction - not the loss of some kind of utopian prestige connected to a golden era. Burial speaks of Britain today, with all its gritty, dirty, messy, impersonality. He speaks of its faults - without forgetting its magnificent cultural, musical and historical achievements. His is a balanced, truthful account of what it is to be British today - an account with no words, just music.

Some people listen to this album and are put off by the 2-step sound and garage/R'n'B clips - they think they're listening to, as some have said, 'what a chav would play at the back of a bus'. But they miss the point entirely - Burial IS talking about that kid at the back of the bus. The kids who are a product of our society, whether we like it or not. He's trying to articulate the lifestyle of the majority of people living in this country - their hopes, fears, faults and virtues. There is no judgement here, just a condensed commentary on modern living.

This is definitely album of the year - what an incredible achievement from such a brilliant young talent.

And we still don't know who he is.

Absolute class.
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on 19 January 2008
Fads & genre's come & go in dance music. Some good, some not so good. I've never been taken much with the whole ..... What do they call it now? Dub step/grime/broken beat?! I've lost track these days & I'm starting to sound like my parents did when I was 16 & listening to House & Techno music - 'It all sounds the same', came the cries as I blasted the likes of Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Frankie knuckles etc,etc around the house. I've not quite got there myself yet but it can't be denied that the boundaries & defining qualities of the (lets call it 'dub step' for arguments sake) sound are a little limited. Broken beats, huge D&B inspired basslines, vocal snippets. It's as if the artists are all singing from the same (strictly guidelined) hymn book for fear of stepping outside of the boundaries only to find that they might accidentally create yet another sub genre of the sound!

No such worries with this latest Burial album though. It has its roots squarely in the dub step sound but it's not afraid to step outside of the margins & dip it's toes elsewhere. The opening untitled track sets the mood - a brooding ambient soundscape set in an urban setting. It's nothing like you've heard on any other dub step record but it's coming from the same place & speaking the same language. It's a bold & brilliant opening that sets the mood perfectly for the rest of the album. I won't bother picking highlights because this is one of those rare things - an album that is a true journey. Every track has its place & the whole thing works together beautifully to create a cohesive whole.

This is an amazing album. The music on here is just incredible. Every sound, beat & vocal snippet seems to have been woven together perfectly to create an amazingly rich tapestry. It's often dark & moody but at the same time it can be emotive & uplifting. It's a near perfect balance & blend that's hard to put into words. For me it's as if every good dance track that I've ever heard, since those days upsetting the parents with those early house/techno gems, has been called upon & learnt from for inspiration.

For me Burial has made a near perfect album & expression of everything I hold dear & true about the music I've been into for the last 20 years! It's certainly one of the best albums I've ever heard. It's an album that in years to come I'll look back on as a true classic. Everyone that's ever been into dance music in one form or another since the early House days needs to own this album. This is destined & thoroughly deserves to go down in history with the best of them. One of the best, if not THE best, albums I have ever heard. Absolute perfection.
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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 8 April 2013
This album is a masterpiece of Dubstep and it's always been one of my favourites since I heard it in 2007. The LP itself on the other hand was disappointing and was obviously pressed with DJs in mind, having left out some of the best more Ambient focused and beatless tracks. I was excited to give this a spin as soon as it arrived only to be let down when I didn't get to experience In McDonalds, Ghost Hardware or Dog Shelter.

5/5 album.
3/5 LP.
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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 7 November 2007
For as long as I can remember, my all time favourite album has been Portishead's 'Dummy'. I had long since given up trying to find anything which would knock this work of genius off its pedestal (excuse the pun), but today I found what is unquestionably the finest musical work I have ever heard.

Any attempt I make to describe this album in words will be completely inadequate so I will not try. All that I can do is reccomend this album as the best of any genre I have ever heard and strongly strongly urge anyone who loves music to purchase 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 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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