"Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You" by Lightspeed Champion

Lightspeed Champion
Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You

Domino
2010

Review

Lightspeed Champion makes very melodic, folky/indy (and sometimes poppy) Rock served up with a nice helping of a flamboyance (more Robert Smith than Boy George - at least performance-wise). Based on that description alone, you'll probably know whether or not this is for you.

It was "Marlene" that prompted me to pick up this album in the first place. I wasn't sure what to expect on the rest of the album, but "Marlene" is catchy as H1N1.

It's hard to not catch yourself singing along with:

Stop being cool
Uh oh, Uh oh, Uh oh
Stop being cool
Uh oh, Uh oh, Uh oh

In many ways "Marlene" exemplifies the appeal of Lightspeed Champion with all the crazy melodies and counter melodies and sudden tempo shifts. It's impressive how the songs here manage to stay so catchy and cohesive given the complexity. The album opener "Dead Head Blues" is another good example of this. The song is a nice slow burn that to me has almost a 1980's Rock-Ballad feel to it that gradually grows more and more complex and yet sounds so simple. "Romart" demonstrates more of that trademark ability to construct interesting instrumental melodies and counter melodies and mix them with great vocal melodies as well.

Other standouts include "Madame Van Damme" (the happiest song about wanting to die that I've ever heard.), and "Smooth Day At The Library". "Smooth Day At The Library" is my favorite ballad on the entire album ("Marlene" is my favorite song on the album - in case you were wondering) and has a nice mellow edge to it colored with perhaps some sexually ambiguous lyrics. But that flamboyance and slight ambiguity is what makes it great as I think that depending on your point of view, the song can have different meanings for you. It also helps that I loved the guitar work on that one.

Overall I am amazed at Lightspeed Champion's abilities as a songwriter and a musician. This is not a very mainstream Rock sort of album, and I think you'll be able to tell right away whether or not this is for you. I believe though that this is a very brilliant album with nearly zero mis-steps that open-minded Rock fans will appreciate.

4.182 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Dead Head Blues (04:07) 5
2. Marlene (03:50) 5
3. There's Nothing Underwater (04:44) 4
4. Intermission (01:23)
5. Faculty of Fears (05:14) 4
6. The Big Guns of Highsmith (04:26) 2
7. Romart (03:30) 5
8. I Don't Want to Wake Up Alone (02:29) 5
9. Madame Van Damme (03:13) 4
10. Smooth Day (At the Library) (03:46) 5
11. Intermission 2 (00:38)
12. Sweetheart (04:38) 3
13. Etude Op. 3 'Goodnight Michalek' (01:49)
14. Middle of the Dark (04:15) 4
15. A Bridge and a Goodbye (01:47)