Raised in England, New York transplant Lightspeed Champion is reviving the late ‘70s and early ‘80s ELO-esque vibe. His sophomore full-length Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You begins slowly, with the aptly titled “Dead Head Blues” a trippy, a little experimental and depressing opener. Quickly, though, the album picks up the pace with the second song “Marlene.”
Sounding similar to the band Hockey, “Marlene” is driven by upbeat tempos on the drum kit and percussion, accompanied by a staccato bass line and an even more upbeat guitar riff. Being energetic with intriguing lyrics like “…everybody knows you want a baby, and God knows everybody wants one too. Latin promises always keep breaking…,” “Marlene” makes for an excellent first single
Each song easily brings to the imagination a group of friends sitting around a campfire and listening to Lightspeed Champion tell stories. For one song, the story might be told with an acoustic guitar, the next, a ukulele, and once in a while, he will interject with incredible skills on a piano he came across in the middle of the woods. He has a calming sense to his voice while still being authoritative.
Having two intermission songs might be the only cocky thing about this album, as if his music is so majestic that the listener needs a break from his enchanting voice.
The song after “Intermission 2,” “Sweetheart,” sounds like a younger, higher pitched, English-accented version of Johnny Cash. The country influence is different, but it’s refreshing because the rest of the album is like a hipster’s wet dream.