Test Icicles and Lightspeed Champion


(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Test Icicles: For Screening Purposes Only (2005), 5/10
Lightspeed Champion: Falling Off The Lavender Bridge (2007), 4/10
Lightspeed Champion: Life Is Sweet Nice to Meet You (2010), 5/10
Blood Orange: Coastal Groves (2011), 4/10
Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe (2013), 4/10
Blood Orange: Negro Swan (2016), 4/10
Blood Orange: Freetown Sound (2018), 4/10
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The Test Icicles (featuring two USA-born members) contributed the noisy and metal-tinged For Screening Purposes Only (2005) to the electroclash scene in Britain. Then Devonte Hynes debuted solo under the moniker Lightspeed Champion with the mediocre alt-country litanies of Falling Off The Lavender Bridge (2007) and the lavish orchestral pop ballads of Life Is Sweet Nice to Meet You (2010), that sound like a revival of the revival staged in the 1990s by Apples In Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel (I don't to Wake up Alone).

Hynes' project evolved into Blood Orange, whose sound coalesced via Coastal Groves (2011) and Cupid Deluxe (2013). These are collections of lame, moronic, funk-soul ballads that hark back to mainstream pop and r'n'b of the 1980s.

Lush production and smooth vocals remained his trademark on the next albums. Amongst the endless interludes and spoken sections, the 16-song Negro Swan (Domino, 2016) does contain a few interesting songs, like Charcoal Baby, but maybe it is 14 or 15 songs too long. The 17-song Freetown Sound (2018), more overtly sociopolitical, boasts collaborations with Carly Rae Jepsen, Nelly Furtado and Debbie Harry, but the winner (and possibly the only song to save) is a collaboration with Honduran-American singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez (Empress Of), Best to You.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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