Since leaving his dance-punk-meets-alt-hip-hop band in 2006, Devonté Hynes (aka Lightspeed Champion) has worked with everyone from Mike Mogis and Tim Kasher to The Chemical Brothers and Solange Knowles. (Confused yet?) On Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You, his second full-length as Lightspeed Champion, Hynes wears his improbably eclectic résumé on his sleeve, blending baroque, piano-driven pop with musical theater-esque compositions and Freddie Mercury-style vocal deliveries. For “I Don’t Want to Wake Up Alone,” Hynes is backed by a veritable army of doo-wop harmonies; lead single “Marlene” finds him layering disco beats over hand claps and sweeping violin parts; and “Faculty of Fears” is a quirky little number that jumps back and forth between a capella serenade and jumpy, Arcade Fire-style hoopla. Throwing any need for consistency out the window, Life Is Sweet is not only sweet, it’s damn near infectious.


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