As much as I still enjoy what recorded output we do have from Dev Hynes’ two major projects to date, I still can’t quite shake the feeling that both already sound a little bit of their time, as it were; perhaps even a little dated. Test Icicles’ For Screening Purposes Only remains a record that I have an awful lot of time for, but that slightly off-kilter, rhythmically diffuse brand of ‘dance-punk’ (a term that in itself screams mid-noughties) was very flash in the pan; it doesn’t feel all that contemporary any more.

I liked Lightspeed Champion, too, but the second LP that Hynes put out under that moniker – the snappily-titled Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You – already sounded as if he was struggling for inspiration or engagement with the folk-tinged aesthetic that had characterised the excellent Falling Off the Lavender Bridge. It’s difficult to gauge whether Hynes should be applauded for the diverse nature of his interests, or chided for an apparent willingness to drop everything and move on as soon as a new sonic fad emerges.

Subscribers to the latter notion will be in no way dissuaded from their argument by the stylistic choices made on Cupid Deluxe, Hynes second full-length as Blood Orange. It’s an album that’s largely in thrall to the kind of sound – let’s, for the sake of argument, call it ‘indie R&B’ – that The xx first brought to a wide audience and that has since been adopted by the likes of The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and How to Dress Well, to name only a handful. That particular niche is currently so fashionable that it is more or less impossible not to approach Hynes’ move into this territory with some degree of cynicism.

The success of Cupid Deluxe, then, largely hinges on whether or not he’s able to bring new and genuinely refreshing ideas to a sound that’s already beginning to go a little bit stale. It is, to his credit, an incredibly diffuse effort; opener “Chamakay” has an almost tribal quality to the percussion, with an understated, soulful vocal turn from Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek and an interesting juxtaposition between the karimba – which fits neatly with the atmosphere of the track – and the saxophone, which doesn’t.

Probably Hynes’ great triumph on this record is the totally convincing manner in which he’s managed to work in eighties influences; “You’re Not Good Enough” is neatly pinned down by a shuffling, contemporary beat, lending something a little modern to a track that’s otherwise utterly retro; grumbling bass, spacey synths and a very New Wave lead vocal from Friends’ Samantha Urbani all present and correct. “Clipped On”, meanwhile, positively nails the sun-drenched, sample-driven instrumentation that drove, say, Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day”, with stirring verses courtesy of Queens rapper Despot.

Not all of the record’s throwbacks are successful – “Uncle Ace” less nods to Talking Heads than headbutts them, with turgid results – but, perhaps unsurprisingly for a man with a track record of being ahead of the curve, Hynes has done a good job of bringing his own identity to the more current cuts. We’re back to African influence on the breathy “No Right Thing” – flickering guitars and a nice vocal back-and-forth between David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors and Polachek, who channels Mariah Carey to stirring effect.

Hynes’ decision to collaborate broadly on Blood Orange proves a masterstroke in terms of the record’s diversity; I’ve not even mentioned Skepta’s moody appearance on “High Street”. It might very well be the case that, as previous ventures suggest, he’s a dedicated follower of musical fashion, but if he keeps turning out albums as polished and accomplished as this one, I don’t think anyone would begrudge him his preference for stylistic nomadism.