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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