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Giant Skyflower Band 

Blood of the Sunworm (Soft Abuse)

Glenn Donaldson seems less a musician and more a medium plucking hazy visions from pop's collective memory. Of course, surfaces can be deceiving. With projects like the Ivytree and the Skygreen Leopards, it's really the singer-songwriter's sly but meticulous craftsmanship tricking fans into believing he's like that.

However, on Blood of the Sunworm, the debut from the Giant Skyflower Band -- Donaldson's latest outfit -- the dude sounds not only like a psychic hobo from Bolinas, but also a weary toker strung out on twee pop, British folk-rock, and David Crosby's burnout classic If Only I Could Remember My Name. There's not a single composition among Sunworm's 10 tracks -- just the barest of sketches and the acute feeling that Donaldson and partner Shayde Sartin did nothing more than record a stoned jam session, where the two Californians messed around with a room full of exotic instruments. Add to this Donaldson's severely slurred falsetto -- which is gorgeous, no matter what -- and Sunworm becomes his most ungraspable pop record to date.

But give it time; a wistful introspection eventually emerges, along with a handful of diamond-encrusted melodies and one or two luminescent ragas.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Justin F. Farrar

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