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Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 16, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Lightspeed Champion, the incredible brain child of former Test Icicles guitarist Dev Hynes, has returned with his second album, Life is Sweet! Nice To Meet You. The follow-up to 2008's Falling Off the Lavender Bridge is an epic collection of twelve pop songs, two instrumental intermissions and one piano étude. Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You reflects Dev's voracious but discriminating Pop taste. He draws on baroque 60's pop, Girl Group harmonies, classical music, joltingly 70's guitar and synth sounds, classical piano, Serge Gainsbourg, Greek choruses, Todd Rundgren, and even musical theatre.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 16, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Domino
  • ASIN: B0031Y4A0I
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,422 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Donald E. Gilliland on October 27, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The previous Lightspeed Champion album, "Falling Off the Lavender Bridge" was outstanding, but this second album by the band --- or rather, the talented Devonte Hynes --- might be even better. Listening to this album is a thrill, but it defies description, or at least easy classification. You certainly can't pigeonhole the sound; the songs run the gamut from pop and rock to "theatrical" (yes, at least one song wouldn't sound out of place on a 1970s album by Queen), and songs with blues and folk elements. And even more strangely, it all flows perfectly, making this a stirring and satisfying listening experience.

The only thing that stumps me is why this album, and this artist, is not more popular. As I write this, there are only 2 other reviews on this page for this album, and both of those are 5 years old! Okay, I realize the kids nowadays like to download single songs and perhaps aren't hooked on the concept of albums, but this really is a masterful recording, one that should be talked about and listened to by many more people. In a perfect world, Lightspeed Champion would be more popular than the likes of ho-hum groups like Mumford & Sons and Vampire Weekend. I don't think it's an understatement to say that Devonte Hynes is a musical genius, and this ambitious album reflects his creative talents. His subsequent project, Blood Oranges, is also a great "band."

If you get the CD, it comes with a 16-page booklet that includes lyrics to the songs, all of which were written by Devonte Hynes. Devonte also played each song, along with assistance from a 4-member band called 'Spacecamp' , and some other musicians who supplied string arrangements and backing vocals. Quite the production and a VERY engaging and vibrant album. Check this guy out immediately!!!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Over the top music is my thing. And this album really fits the bill. It's dramatic and melodic, and all kinds of other ics.

The music reminds me of Queen of yesteryear. And maybe Muse in more recent years.

Just about every track on this album is solid. But of course, some are better than others. At the moment, 13 Sweetheart is probably my favorite.

This guy is really talented. I'm actually surprised that there aren't more reviews of this album to date. I heard this guy on NPR and liked it enough to give it a try. Money well spent.
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Format: Audio CD
Devonté Hynes is Lightspeed Champion. Previously in a Heavy metal band (Test Icicles) before deciding to be a Folkie of sorts on his 2008 Lightspeed Champion debut, he has a love for musicals which shows on this sophomore collection.

Theatrical Rock/Folk with Classical/Baroque flourishes best describes this, with opening "Dead head blues" epitomising this.

His vocal delivery is laid back, almost deadpan, with picturesque and witty (sometimes comical) lyrics adding to the allure. "Marlene" features retro sounding chiming guitars, while "There's nothing underwater" is Lo-Fi Folk.

"The big guns of Highsmith" has a lovely piano overture with bursts of backing vocals making it sound like a piece from a musical. "Romart" is a beautiful ballad as is "I don't want to wake up alone" (with chopstick-like piano and sixties-sounding harmonies).

"Madame Van Damme" sounds like something from the musical "Grease" (despite a chorus that goes "Kill me, Baby won't you kill me"), while "Smooth day (At the library)" is a delicate ballad with steel guitars. The bouncy Folky "Sweetheart" sounds like something from a Western movie and "Middle of the dark" is an experimental song with interesting tempo shifts.

Closing is the brief and beautiful "A bridge and a goodbye", one of four instrumental interludes of varying moods.

As good as his debut "Falling Off the Lavender Bridge" was, this is even more ambitious and beautiful. Listening to this, you truly feel life is really sweet!
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