Burial Untrue

Few people know who lurks behind the wilfully anonymous moniker of Burial, but whoever’s back there has gotten a whole lot more sensitive and endearing in the 12 months since his/her/their intimidating self-titled debut dropped on Kode9’s Hyperdub imprint late last fall. If Burial’s debut was all about painting a grim and omniscient portrait of London’s dark streets and darker underground tendencies — as that album’s cover portrayed and its music supported — Untrue is a record that takes a decisive step outside what Pinch calls "the underwater dancehall” of dubstep clubs and into strikingly personal territory. Untrue may be the genre’s most personal outing to date — the album sounds like it was made at home on the most basic equipment and its heavily manipulated vocalists reek of loneliness and vulnerability. Burial offers up a lo-fidelity dirge of an electronic album about — gulp — love and heartache but it’s not by any means sappy or overly sentimental. Rather, Untrue brings to mind early Massive Attack (without the gentrifiable possibilities) and the claustrophobia of Tricky’s Pre-Millennial Tension (without the whacked-out personality). As good as last year’s debut was, and still is, Untrue pushes Burial’s reputation to new heights. (Hyperdub)