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Boomkat Product Review:
After being greeted with much critical acclaim following his Falling Off The Lavender Bridge album, ex-Test Icicle Devonte Hynes returns with a second solo long-player. Having worked with Saddle Creek producer Mike Mogis on the first record, Hynes this time recruits Animal Collective producer Ben Allen and the band Spacecamp, who all play their parts in making this album work as well as it does. There's no shortage of ideas laid out here, with Hynes' always compelling lyrical flow embedded within a suitably jam-packed musical narrative. As well as the expected glut of hipster heartbreak balladry, the Lightspeed Champ checks in with more uptempo fare on the surprisingly danceable Brit Pop-meets-Northern soul of 'Marlene', which loads up with plenty of comical pith from the beginning ("Stick a spoon into your heart/Eat away all your Deutsch Marks/Your money don't mean a damn thing"). Other highlights include the grand, string-laden 'Faculty Of Fears', with its Pythagoras name-dropping and sagacious refrains of: "And if your heart is screaming take me home/Hail a cab and please turn off your phone". Rather more unexpected turns of events come to pass with the light musical theatre of 'The Big Guns Of Highsmith', during which Dev opines "Hurts to be the one who's always feeling sad" only to be pounced upon by a Greek chorus: "Oh just stop complaining!" Another serious curveball arrives with 'Etude Op. 3 "Goodnight Michalek"', which quite unexpectedly goes all-out for aping Chopin. There's a lot to love about Lightspeed Champion's second album, and centrally, Hynes' personality commands immense likability and empathy throughout. Highly recommended.