Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Burial: Street Halo/Kindred [Hyperdub/Beat, 2012]
Two EPs from the mysterious William Bevan, six tracks divided evenly between his 20-minute 2011 return and his 30-minute 2012 stride forward, cohere almost seamlessly as the album they become when you don't have to turn any plastic over. The accomplished recapitulations of Street Halo--faerie electro-soprano and vinyl sputter-crackle laying their dream and disquiet on the nervous beats?-pause briefly at what is now track four, which takes seven seconds to achieve liminal audibility before slowly building into a peppier elegy than anything he's previously dared. And despite the lamentable title "Ashtray Wasp" (please, I don't want to know), the 12-minute finale begins as a distressed house anthem--not literally uplifting, this is Burial, but inspiring nonetheless?-and then trails off into something more lyrical. Thoughtful, even. A-