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Since his cover of Blackstreet’s "No Diggity" on 2012's Thinking in Textures, Chet Faker has become an Australian poster boy for the foggy intersection of R&B and electronic soul, referred to some as “PBR&B.” Faker’s style in production and vocal delivery lands between James Blake and Tom Krell of How to Dress Well.

Depending on whom you ask, Faker's ascent might be premature but is nonetheless warranted. As his first full-length, Built on Glass is, however, an inconsistent case to the world. Faker explores every avenue of his identity, as he alludes to in “Melt”: “Melt my happiness, some kind of fucked up mess.” Sifting through the fog can pleasantly surprise the listener, though, as Faker hints at just how far his horizons may expand beyond the stiffly produced cracker croons of his previous work.

Faker opens Built on Glass with his trademark Rhodes piano and soupy vocals on "Release Your Problems," followed by the singles "Talk Is Cheap" and "Melt" and the woozy R&B of "Gold." Obligations to his previous sound end there, and side B is a different avenue to behold. Faker plays with depth, as the booming drums shatter the cavernous atmosphere of "Blush" into the albums climactic moments, the coupling of the betrayal-house of "1998" and the rhythmic textures of "Cigarettes & Loneliness." As Faker mumbles then prances over syllables all for the sake of understanding, one sees why he has been so overheard without saying that much.

Album: Built on Glass
Artist: Chet Faker
Label: Future Classic
Songs: (1) "Release Your Problems" (2) "Talk Is Cheap" (3) "No Advice" (Airport version) (4) "Melt" (featuring Kilo Kish) (5) "Gold" (6) "To Me" (7) "/" (8) "Blush" (9) "1998" (10) "Cigarettes & Loneliness" (11) "A Lesson in Patience" (12) "Dead Body"

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dwbat June 28, 2014 @ 10:55 a.m.

Chet Faker sounds like a reincarnated Chet Baker (trumpeter and singer, 1929-1988; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chet_Baker).

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