See me after class
Devonté Hynes’ sophomore album as Lightspeed Champion offers a smattering of well-shellacked chamber-pop tunes and little else. The requisite balance between guitar jangle (“There’s Nothing Underwater”) and melodramatic piano balladry (“Romart”) means Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You will serve as a tolerable soundtrack to at least two months’ worth of New England sorority parties.
But the overproduction and studio gimmickry haunts the halls of this collegiate rock, constraining Hynes’ squeaky-clean instrumentation between alternating tedium and banality. There are occasional moments where this background noise flirts with listenability, thanks to a clever verse (“Chelsea tees and Socrates still haunt me”), but Lightspeed Champion seems mostly content to hold court as an inoffensive also-ran to Vampire Weekend. And like an antisocial freshman holed up in his dorm, Life is Sweet has no desire to leave the comfortable confines of self-possessed sentimentality.