Nicholas Murphy, aka Chet Faker, has twice deleted his debut LP. Unfortunately, on the third and final product, the mysticism and romantic blossoming that was so abundant in his first EP has mostly wafted away.

There’s no doubt that the Melbourne artist can sing. Throughout Built On Glass, Murphy continually resounds with heart shattering vocals. However, for the most part, that’s all that really stands out.

A good portion of the collection is satisfied to wallow, muddling around in static production and Murphy’s amazing vocal range. Whilst this is a good showcase of his lyrical delivery, the production of the album grinds and halts the music to an awkward pace.

It would be unfair to say that Built On Glass has no shining moments. When they do emerge, they come on brightly. Previous single ‘Melt feat. Kilo Kish’ is an alluring sex instrument all on its own, with the verses coursing their way through before flourishing into the molten chorus.

Likewise, ‘Talk Is Cheap’ delivers heavy excellence, a song made to be a contender for the spiritual sibling of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’. The double-trouble of ‘1998’ and ‘Cigarettes And Loneliness’ is a flourishing maneuver, juxtaposing a track of soul-jungle eccentricity with a follow-up of heartfelt, quasi-Radiohead gut-spillage.

Overall, though, the gems on the album don’t make up for the tripping and slowness that dominate most of the LP. No doubt, Built On Glass is a fine start to a career, but perhaps not the album that we were all waiting for.

Listen to ‘Talk Is Cheap’ from Built On Glass here:

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine