Label: Sex Farm Records Release date: 30/11/09 Website: Due to the caliber of names bandied about when Paul Colto (also known as The Android Angel) is mentioned, my expectations for Glow Worm were high, perhaps unfairly so. It is not the fault of Colto himself that I was anticipating an album of brilliant minimalist folk in the vein of For Emma, Forever Ago. Nor is it his fault that I was hoping for an album of chamber pop as astounding as I Am A Bird Now. In truth, Colto doesn’t come within a stone’s throw of the songwriting chops so clearly present on either of the aforementioned albums. Glow Worm begins with a track that sounds like a reject Madvillainy skit, rather than an opener to an acoustic pop album such as this. With this song he leads us to believe that there is more to the ‘Music of the Android Angel’ than standard singer-songwriter fare. However as the album progresses the production tricks, employed to great effect on the lead-off track, seem much more like gimmicky window dressing for a product that couldn’t stand out on its own. The glockenspiel littered ‘Second Base’ is perhaps the best example of this feigned experimentalism. He attempts to embellish Big Star influenced guitar pop with a pretty little melody on the metal keys, but it comes off sounding a bit forced. Musically and vocally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Glow Worm. Colto excels in crafting catchy chord progressions and melodies in a variety of styles that runs the gamut from the orchestral ‘In Communique’ to the punky ‘Wheels’, and save for a few ill-advised flourishes, the production is flawless. The Pete Townshend aping ‘Unfinished Business’ has to be one of the clearest sounding radio ready pop-rock songs of the year. Mind you, that’s musically radio ready. Like the rest of the record, ‘Unfinished Business’ suffers lyrically. Some of these flaws simply come from poor phrasing that obscures the meanings of otherwise straightforward songs, as on ‘Love With No Reason’ (“You give me love with no reason. / You give me nothing at all”), but the majority of the problems come from the overtly saccharine clichés that pervade the entirety of the album (“I hate the way I want you, but I need the way I love you./ I’m always so wrong.”) Colto is obviously a talented musician, but pop songs can’t succeed with lyrics that don’t match up to the well crafted melodies. The majority of the tracks present here don’t merit a second listen. Rating: 4/10