Few Australian albums have been as highly anticipated in recent memory as this debut album by Chet Faker. Few artists have experienced a meteoric rise in profile out of nowhere as Faker, real name Nick Murphy, either.

Words by

Alexander Crowden

Faker has gone from being a resident DJ at Hawthorn's ‘90s bar Nevermind only a few years ago to selling out Festival Hall with close friend Flume and playing shows at festivals such as SXSW.

In many ways Built on Glass picks up where Faker's EP Thinking In Textures left off, yet it's also a much more cohesive body of work despite its length. The songwriting has developed considerably and Faker's confidence in his own abilities has grown likewise. There's more vocals and those vocals are far more varied than his earlier work.

This is an extremely polished album, and you'd expect it to be after the extremely high bar Faker set for himself with the incredible production on his EP. Again everything sounds like he's pushed the very realms of stereo recorded music to the max. There are sounds here that make you feel, others that are subtle and barely noticeable while some are front and centre; getting stuck in your head. They all combine to make a highly affective record. It's good that Faker is very much still "thinking in textures" with his painstakingly beautiful approach to recording music, and it pays off in a big way.

Lead single Talk is Cheap chronicles the domestic repetitiveness of the average relationship, yet it sounds more glamorous than just about anything you'll hear this year. If you've just heard this track, it’s a perfect sampler of what to expect from the album, just slightly more ready for radio than other more introspective tracks with less vocals. This is also the first Faker song that makes you really want to sing along apart from his Blackstreet cover of No Diggity; it's a welcome addition to his music without sacrificing the uniqueness we've come to love about him.

Collaborations have been a constant with Faker ever since he burst onto the scene, and using Kilo Kish on Melt shows just how well his vocal style suits a female counterpart. To Me is the undeniable standout track of the album. It's understated, encompassing, and at its most basic is downright relatable for the average person. It is the best example of Faker's innate ability to meld several genres together including folk, jazz and house music among others.

Built on Glass as a name is an oxymoron as Faker has created an extremely solid base for his career with this impressive debut album. Listening to this record is an experience in itself, one that needs to be had, and the sooner the better. 

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