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Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

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Album Review

Leaving the noisy terrain of the Test Icicles behind for the more relaxed territory of the singer/songwriter didn't exactly mellow Dev Hynes. For sure, the sound of his new project, Lightspeed Champion, is softer, with violins, pedal steel, and tender female vocal harmonies (sung by London folk singer Emmy the Great) among other traditional singer/songwriter favorites providing the cottony backing. Recording in Omaha with Mike Mogis (who's run the boards for loads of indie rockers, most notably Bright Eyes) and using a conglomeration of musicians from Tilly and the Wall, the Good Life, and the Faint, it would be hard to come up with a sound that didn't conjure up Bright Eyes and their ilk. It's a rich and cinematic sound with plenty of lovely playing and deft arrangements, made more listenable by Hynes' pleasant melodies. So the sound is softer and the melodies are nice, but Hynes lyrics speak of turmoil and struggle. Indeed, Hynes is not a happy camper. Licking open wounds, being sick in other people's mouths, scratching out eyes, stapling down eyes, being bathed in cold sweat, and shaking with tension are just some of the happy topics Hynes touches on. He generally sounds miserable and depressed as hell; sometimes angry ("Devil Tricks for a Bitch"), sometimes snarky and mean ("Let the Bitches Die"), sometimes just plain morose ("All to S**t"). The disconnect between the gentle and welcoming music and the tense, off-putting lyrics can be a bit much and Hynes is only too aware of this, seeming to take perverse pleasure in going as far as he can lyrically. This underlying sense of humor is one of the saving graces of the record; another is the number of really good songs that don't worry about being "difficult" and reach for real emotions. The melancholy tale of missed love connections "Everyone I Know Is Listening to Crunk" is one of these; "No Surprise" is another. Overall though, Falling Off the Lavender Bridge is a bit of a slog to get through. Maybe amping up the music to match the tone of the lyrics might have given the record the kick it needed; perhaps cutting back on the lyrical excess would have been the fix. Whatever the case may be, what's left is a record with some promise but too many flaws to be truly enjoyable.

Customer Reviews

Lightspeed is the Champion

In this CD Lightspeed Champion sends vibe's of longing, love, hate, compasion and overall dose a great job. Considering he is a newer artist with proebly little funding I think he has the potential to become a star. This CD is great for about anyone and has many great songs and music and lyrics. The majority of the songs are mellow while the rest are very up beat and get you moving and are just plain fun to listen too. I recomend this CD to anyone who likes music.

Beautiful, an excellent follow-up to Galaxy Lost EP

I got the Galaxy Lost EP and I couldn't put it down and the album is just as good it doesn't fall flat at all, like an album that only has strengths in the singles that are released, this album is amazing and it's good song after song. Lightspeed Champion has a great style and the videos for Galaxy Lost, Midnight Surprise, and Tell Me What It's Worth are worth checking out.

definately the best album I've heard this year

I find this album very well done, considering his previous band ( the Test Icicles) this is quite a break away and i find that a very good thing, i could harp on the album, for not having enough, sort of hooks, or, for having a bit of a generic sound, or the lyrics not being deep enough, but as for the hooks, they are there and the generic sound, you realize that its origional even though it does have a tone you may have heard before, and the lyrics have their own depth and understated importance, and eventually you realize that the structure of the album is phenominal. I recommend it, its not for everyone, some people will find it too "pop-y" and others may find it too "weird" but, aside from the labels and the previous generes that most people stick too. his craftmanship stands out.

Biography

Formed: 2006 in Houston, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After the experimental rock group Test Icicles disbanded in 2006, Devonté Hynes launched Lightspeed Champion as his own folk-driven project. The new venture allowed him to focus on his love for pop melodies, a fondness that began with Hynes' childhood love of Broadway musicals and, years later, helped sweeten Test Icicles' spastic sound. After writing a batch of new material, Hynes flew to Nebraska to collaborate with Saddle Creek's resident producer, Mike Mogis. Backed by an informal band that included...
Full Bio
Falling Off the Lavender Bridge, Lightspeed Champion
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