Saturday, January 30

Lightspeed Champion - 'Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You' track by track guide.

. Saturday, January 30

Dev Hynes, aka Lightspeed Champion returns on February 8th with his second solo album. Entitled 'Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You the album shows off a sound more developed than Hyne's first album 'Falling Off The Lavender Bridge' but still maintaining a constant emotional angst and melodic emphasis. Here is a sneak peak of what to expect from the album.

1. Dead Head Blues
A down beat opener sees Hynes lamenting the end of a relationship and conjuring up images of the American Mid West through his lyrical narrative. Angry but defeated this feels like a climactic song in a musical so it is interesting that it opens the record, a big guitar solo half way through is the first musical hint that things have moved on from the first Lightspeed album.

2. Marlene
Groove laden pop rock in it's purest form. “Stop being cool” sings Hynes before a rush of strings and soaring guitars elevate the song into the anthemic heavens. Again, this song has the feeling of an abject loss of hope but one that is cutely wrapped up in a way that will have you humming the hooks of for weeks to come.

3. There's Nothing Underwater

Acoustic guitars and violins make this the most immediately recognisable Lightspeed Champion song thus far. A tender and sweet lament along the same lines of longing and loss it's at this point we realise that 'Nice To Meet You!' might not be the chirpy, feel good album it's title suggests.

4. Intermission

A minute and a half of electric piano sounds. Sounds a bit like lift music from a space ship.

5. Faculty Of Fears
A deep bass is the sole accompaniment to a solitary croon before Hynes is joined by the full band ensemble. The most melodically charged song on the album 'Faculty Of Fears' details the events of a particularly disastrous night out and includes the line, “If your heart’s screaming take me home/Then hail a cab and please turn off your phone ”. A sentiment many people will ruefully relate to.

6. The Big Guns Of Highsmith
A face off occurs between Hyne’s maudlin self loathing and an all male choir telling him to “Just stop complaining.” Like something from a musical this song is highly camp and a lot of fun. Handclaps and pianos drive the track along with repeated appearances from the choral voice of reason. Sounds like it would be great live.

7. Romart

Rooted in colloquialism this song namechecks London’s, Dalston Lane. A slow waltz, ‘Romart’ is another example of Hynes comfort with song writing and ability to produce something from special from very little. A melody and a piano are all this album needs to excel.

8. I Don’t Want To Wake Up Alone
The male choir turn up again for this gloriously OTT ballad. Like something from a Richard Curtis movie the sentiment is slushy but undeniable. “If you love me, if you want me, don’t ignore me because I don’t want to wake up alone” is the clarion call for a thousand swaying couples embracing at future Lightspeed gigs.

9. Madam Van Damme
A relatively old song. Having first appeared when Hynes was touring his first album this track was originally called ‘The Prostitute Song’. Speaking from the perspective of a Brazilian lady of the night Hynes urges the anonymous assailant to “Kill me, baby kill me” amidst a world of pain at what she does for a living. A terribly dark song with a chirpy melody running throughout disguising the harsh undertones.

10. Smooth Day
Smooth being the operative word. A slinky, late night jam ‘Smooth Day’ is a cuddly warm blanket after the previous songs foray into the seedy world of vice.

11. Intermission 2
Largely pointless second interlude, some drums clatter and bang with no real purpose.

12. Sweetheart
Something of a hoedown occurs as ‘Life Is Sweet!’ approaches it’s final breaths. Conjuring up images of the Wild West and gun slinging cowboys ‘Sweetheart’s jaunty rhythms and slide guitar show more experimentation from a song writer who commendably can’t sit still.

13. Etude Op. 3
At a pretty substantial fifteen tracks long this record is not for the casual listener. Having said that with filler like this on it the album could have been shorn some of it’s extensive running time. A nice enough idea but really instrumental piano work outs like this add nothing to proceedings.

14. Middle Of The Dark
A noodling but impressive song. Lacking the melody or sentiment of tracks earlier on in the running but still displaying the exemplary song writing that runs throughout this album.

15. A Bridge and A Goodbye
A peaceful piano waves over this final piece of music as the album bids it’s fond farewell. Best recommended to be listened to as a whole rather than in fragments ‘Life Is Sweet, Nice To Meet You’ is a well written, bold and confident step forward for Dev Hynes. Lets not forget, just a few years ago this was a guy leaping around the stage dressed in fluorescent bicycle shorts in a band who’s name was a pun on the word testicles. Times have well and truly changed.

‘Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You’ is released via Domino on February 15th.



Post a Comment