Presumably, there's an unwritten rule for concept albums that no specific guidelines or directions must be followed, that it's instead more important for the overall themes and emotions of the record to be conveyed. Evidently, Tom Fazzini took this at least the first part of this credo to heart for his conceptual Sulphur, Glue the Star, because the album certainly takes a free-form shape as far as indie folk/rock music is concerned. Its eerie spoken pieces ("03," "06," and "08") are nestled between sparse and bizarre acoustic guitar-driven songs that seem just on the verge of actually saying something, like a man standing on a cliff and turning around momentarily with his mouth open right before he leaps, the idea of his words lost in the wind over his head. Fazzini doesn't make the task of understanding his message any easier, be it literally by occasionally obfuscating his vocals with various effects, or more figuratively with his use of vaguely non-sequitur lines ("Lucien Freud would paint it so well/with a hundred pound bottle of wine in the dell") or esoteric natural imagery. But he also doesn't seem to necessarily even be trying to explain a certain situation or idea. Rather, Sulphur, Glue the Star is Fazzini's own view of the entire world: the women he's loved, the people who've hurt him, the strange earth around him, the men he knows but has never met. Perhaps what he's actually trying to explore, and get across to his listeners, isn't hidden behind underwater sound effects, maniacal laughter, or ephemeral constructs of ghosts and anemones. Perhaps the point, the "concept," if you will, is what is explicitly stated in the penultimate song, "Glare." "She said 'why can't you see/that everything is connected, even that pin in your knee?'" Fazzini sings, and suddenly everything is clear. Sulphur, Glue the Star is his life and how he sees it. And if that's not a concept album, it's hard to say what is.
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AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown