• Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Feb 16, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. The flow of the album from shout-along to chilling ballad to piano etude and back again is uneven, but the lack of a conventional dynamic feels more candid and endearing than anything else.
  2. Hynes continues to explore the scope of his musicianship, producing a collection songs that refuse to stand still.
  3. But what comes through now is the strength of the songwriting, and his willingness to try out new things.
  4. There’s no filler here, even the short instrumental numbers deserve their place as they break up the album into chapters. A surprisingly good follow-up, Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You is essential listening.
  5. Uncut
    He couches this misery in beautiful arrangements, writing on the piano, orchestrating with strings, and pitching his ambition somewhere between Serge Gainsbourg and Todd Rundgren. [Feb 2010, p.90]
  6. Each track is certainly jam-packed with ideas, but they are woven tight and worked to perfection with the help of producer and mixer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley) who has clearly done a sterling job of making sense of Hynes’ ridiculously overactive imagination.
  7. And what the songwriter (he's recently written for Solange Knowles and X Factor's Diana Vickers) does – simple country-twinged, piano/guitar music – he does very well.
  8. A solid second record with tinges of brilliance, it’s another fine piece of work from the busiest man around.
  9. These are huge, Motown-sounding set pieces that frame Hynes as a male Dusty Springfield backed by symphonic strings, jangly guitars, and urgent, driving percussion.
  10. Under The Radar
    Life Is Sweet is a swooningly beautiful record that might just turn out to be Hynes' finest. [Winter 2010, p.68]
  11. Life Is Sweet! veers so frequently from densely orchestrated to intimately raw and back again - often within the same tune - these little throwaway breaks tend to work as conveniently placed little palate cleansers.
  12. 70
    Devonté Hynes pens an indie-rock passion play that picks up the tempo and spotlights his thespian skills
  13. The songs here — Baroque, sometimes arch pop, touching on classic country, Bowie and Queen — begin with sharp-tongued bitterness and, slowly, with detours, work their way through to what for Mr. Hynes seems like an uncomfortable, foreign feeling: bliss.
  14. Although it is fairly obvious that he could perfect the country-sunshine-singed folk-pop of his debut almost effortlessly should he wish, Hynes has instead delivered a multi-faceted breakdown of his own hyperactive productivity.
  15. Flamboyant, excessive and more Mikado than Micachu, you get the feeling that 'Life Is Sweet...' is an album that'll polarise people. But hey - if you don't like this one, Dev will be onto the next project tomorrow anyway.
  16. Alternately inspired and frustrating, it addresses themes of lost love (and lost chicness) with Queen-size 70s-rock pomp, neoclassical interludes, and one ukulele-based chamber-pop song.
  17. Life Is Sweet! is best at its brightest and fastest....Slower, more contemplative tunes like "Romart," on the other hand, can get a little dreary (even if they're very pretty).
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Mar 30, 2011
    I came into Life Is Sweet! expecting a lot. I'd seen the video for Marlene: the song was catchy. Lightspeed Champion's previous album to thisI came into Life Is Sweet! expecting a lot. I'd seen the video for Marlene: the song was catchy. Lightspeed Champion's previous album to this day remains one of my favourite albums. But I was sorely disappointed.

    Life is Sweet! lacks the thing that made Lavender Bridge great: identity. Lavender Bridge was unique. While it had obvious influences, they all combined to form a greater whole, and a being that transcended influences to become a beast of its own. This album throws that identity out, in favour of variety as it swings between western to pop-rock to piano-led ballads to small classical-inspired instrumentals, and through this mechnical genre-running removes the raw emotion and humanity that Lavender had in spades.

    But, taken on its own merits, is Life Is Sweet! still a good album? The answer is possibly. While none of the songs are 'bad' per se, instrumentation is occasionally incongruous with the song it's in, repetition is featured highly but of the annoying parts of the songs, and as a complete album it is far too unfocused and dithering. Sweetheart is the best representation of the album as a whole: the song begins with an acoustic guitar, breaking tension with a bass guitar and swelling vocals in the chorus and showing fantastic amounts of potential - then it breaks its mood, momentum and quality as it breaks into a western, nearly hoe-down sounding refrain with Dev whining an annoying melody. Life Is Sweet! definitely had potential, but is overall disappointing - both standing alone, and as the follow-up to Lavender Bridge.
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