Album: Lightspeed Champion, Bye Bye (Domino)

His recent Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You album found Dev Hynes, aka Lightspeed Champion, emulating Todd Rundgren at his most excessive and baroque.

Small wonder, then, to find him working on this follow-up 10-inch EP with Van Dyke Parks, the Grand Poobah of baroque pop and sometime accomplice of Brian Wilson's more extravagant ideas. Indeed, it's Wilson's most Zen-like rumination, "'Til I Die", which opens this set, Hynes approximating the fuzzy, amniotic texture of the original, if not its weightless sense of wonder. Thereafter, the tracks all feature Parks' quixotic, serpentine string arrangements, most successfully on "The Mess You're In". It's clearly a labour of devotion on the singer's part, and though occasionally their skills are somewhat clumsily allied, it's a far from pointless exercise.

DOWNLOAD THIS 'Til I Die; The Mess You're In; Bye Bye Icarus