Take Chet Faker (Nicholas Murphy) at faceless, voice-only value, and his
sultry, smouldering R&B-rooted easy listening sits comfortably enough.
After a promising collaboration with electronic producer Flume, and a
husky, Hype Machine-conquering cover of the Blackstreet classic Faker ‘No
Diggity’, the Melbourne musician seemed well equipped to step out of
the collaborative and into the solo,
but unfortunately ‘Built on Glass’ is about as lightweight as the title
suggests. Music to kickback and unwind to, down-tempo melodies
and understated pop
hooks give this set a soulful charm without ever offering much else beyond the imploring vocals and sax backing of ‘Talk is Cheap’.
Where ‘Lesson in Patience’ combines a mix of clumsy beats, hums, chants, interludes and guttural saxophone, and ‘Dead Body’
channels the spirit of R.Kelly, ‘Built on Glass’ only serves to pull CF’s previous work into sharper focus.
It’s frustrating because given the right context, Murphy’s vocals add depth and sincerity, but left to wander, unabated, as they are here, is a less than flattering reflection.
That’s the first music that I had interest in whatsoever, just the most popular music of the day. Faker I think my mam had ‘Popped In Souled Out’ by Wet Wet Wet, and I still have a weird fondness for it.
It’s not a good record, but I have a weird fondness for it. It’s an associative, sociological fondness, Faker but I think that all music is heavily dependent on that anyway: like, weirdly, listening to something like ‘Back In The High Life Again’ by Steve Winwood,
I can hear that all over ‘Old Fears’! And while I was writing the album, I had a huge obsession with the Shalamaar song ‘Night To Remember’, which is a
fantastic record, for its use of space and how none of the individual parts
takes over at any point.Faker
A lot of these ’80s records were when people were really discovering drum machines and sticking these really complicated rhythms over everything, but it was so precise that it didn’t get in the way, and worked okay.
Like on Chaka Khan’s ‘I Feel For You’, there are two electronic drum kits going on all the time, blasting away, but it’s done so you almost feel that it
makes more space. Faker
So there was definitely a sense that that was the kind of sound I’d like to have.
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