You could say that CHET FAKER has been one of the most hyped musicians over the last two years. He got the music world’s attention after releasing his highly celebrated EP Thinking In Textures with the well-known cover of BLACKSTREET’s No Diggity in the year 2012. It was followed by his collaboration with the Australian electronic DJ FLUME and their Lockjaw EP with the ingenious single Drop The Game and its expressive dance video in 2013.
After the announcement that there will be a full CHET FAKER record in April 2014, the expectations have been very high – understandably after such a success. Unfortunately it’s not that easy for an artist to fulfill this prospects, but the beardy Australian did quite a good job. People who say different things just didn’t listen to the record well enough or rather often enough.
It needs some time to drift a little deeper ( as the man says in /) into CHET FAKER‘s new work. You won’t be disappointed after trying it out – Built On Glass‘ thought-out and complex character will be revealed after some time. Its multilayer nature is already perceptible from the subdivision in two parts – the first one ( until /) is far more cheerless and slower than the second one.
FAKER himself entitles them with pre-break-up and post-break-up. The incident which heralds the second part is the 20 seconds long / – a spoken piece where a voice says: ‘That was the other side of the record / now relax still more/ drift a little deeper as you listen’.
Both fractions are nevertheless marked by his soft, emotional voice, mellow electronic beats, soul and R’n’B elements – just as we are used from the singer. The first part starts with Release Your Problems, a discreet and groovy song which focuses on CHET FAKER‘s comfortable voice. Talk Is Cheap – Built On Glass‘ first single entrances with gentle electro-tunes, an uplifting beat and synthie wind players. And Melt – the duet with KILO KISH – could almost be lounge-music. Not a bad quality – FAKER himself likes it when people use his album as background music.
The second part, which seems more experimental and deeper than the first one, features even a danceable house number: 1998 with its snare claps and the base-drum. Cigarettes & Loneliness lasts for almost eight minutes, but really pleasant eight minutes. Lesson In Patience loops FAKER‘s voice various times on top of itself and ends with a synthie-outro. And the record’s last track Dead Body fades with a guitar solo.
‘Built On Glass’ implies everything we’ve expected from a CHET FAKER record : smoothy electro-tunes, groovy soul and R’n’B components and of course his comfortable voice. It hits the zeitgeist perfectly and works in two ways: as relaxing background and as stimulating foreground music.
NBHAP Rating: 4,5/5