Label: WeePOP! Release Date: Out Now Website: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the twee-est one of all? The world is twee is one of great regression, where grown men wear Thomas the Tank Engine knitted jumpers and grown women cuddle teddy bears. It’s Pee Wee Herman and Sesame Street. It’s K records and Jonathan Richman worshippers. Somewhat of a journeyman Colin Clary is a prolific musician who divides his time between four bands, notably playing with The Smittens and Colin Clary and the Magogs. His vocal style is a cross between Stuart Murdoch and John Darnielle, his lyrics reveal a sense of childish naiveté and his compositions are soulful and melodic, the kind of acoustic lo-fi pop perfect for sunny afternoons spent drinking lemonade in the garden shade. There is a certain amount of sweetness in lovey-dovey songs like ‘Katie’, ‘Waving to a girl on a train’ and ‘Phone me, phone me’, though the thought of a thirty something chap singing gaily in such an adolescent manner means that some might find these simple, heartfelt songs off putting. This is especially felt in ‘James William Hindle’ a bromatic ode to the English folk singer which overdoses on the saccharine. For some reason, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, there is something slightly unhinged in Clary’s music. ‘Tick Tick’ is an experimental, sparse song full of repetition that hints, probably unintentionally that there is a more sinister side to Clary’s character. You kind of want him to express a little more of this side of his character, before he goes a bit bonkers and acts out his repressed emotions by putting a bunny’s head on his unrequited loves’ cherry red doorstep. ‘You tell me now’ has an interesting fifties hint to it, though it is let down by some major lyrical cheese “What’s left to say after Daniel J / After Mor-ris-sey-he-he”.  In many ways this song is as good as it gets. All too often the amateurish approach of Clary’s song writing seems forced and far too indebted to his heroes, those that once genuinely provided a daring alternative to macho punk posers and pretentious indier-than-thou attitudes. Certainly Colin Clary is unfashionable; his songs border more on the vague side of things than the personal. However it’s easy to get detached from his music because it comes from a fragmented scene too earnest for its own good. Either that or Clary really is suffering from a peculiar case of arrested development, which makes you want to grab him by the collar of his homemade cardigan and force him to listen to a few Leonard Cohen albums so that he might learn how to grow up. Rating: 6/10