Published Sep 12, 2014The title of Spencer Burton's third solo album, Don't Let The World See Your Love, is a piece of advice that his music doesn't follow. Born from vulnerability that begat loss, the name represents the London-via-Niagara troubadour's hesitation to be as open and honest as he once was. Yet the record finds Burton stepping out from behind the safety of his sobriquet, Grey Kingdom, to embrace his birth name and, at the same time, share stunningly intimate songs of love and hurt. Like its predecessors, Don't Let The World See Your Love was produced in part by Attack in Black bandmate Daniel Romano and captures dark periods in Burton's life, but it's notably less morose than 2012's Light, I'll Call Your Name Out "Darkness".
Between its twangy pedal steel and locomotive-like percussion, opener "Death of Gold" sets the stage for sunny soundscapes populated by bright open-tuned acoustics, restrained piano chords, flares of accordion and the occasional fiddle fill. But it's Burton's flawless, mesmerizing voice that commands each of the 11 songs, none more so than the haunting title track, with its overdubbed a cappella chorus. Meanwhile, contrasting moods — the solemn arrangements of "Grey Kingdom" pressed against the more uplifting sound of "A Body Is All She Ever Let Me Hold," for instance — keep the record moving through to the heartbreaking closer, "I Don't Love You Like I Used You." If Burton isn't letting the world see his love, then he's surely hidden it in his music. (Dine Alone)