Album: Felix da Housecat

Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever, Emperor Norton / Rykodisc
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The Independent Culture

In 2001, Kittenz and thee Glitz brought Felix da Housecat close to crossover success, its trashy Euro-disco tone pre-dating the "electroclash" synth-pop revival. This follow-up unveils another alter-ego, Devin Dazzle: some cyber-soul combination of Prince, Roger Troutman and George Clinton, and the creative mainspring of a whole psychedelic funk organisation, judging by the cover. The Neon Fever are five girl singers whom Felix/Devin has charged with contributing the lyrics. "I told them to go away and talk about what they wanted," he explains. "I said, 'I want to be like a guy in a girl's locker room, trying to peek in and listen to what you guys are saying.'" Which may be a big mistake: the girls' perfunctory phraseology is fine for a track or two, but soon the appeal of their teasing vocals ("Short skirts to make you horny/ Don't try to touch us baby") wears thin. They're best on "Everyone is Someone in LA", admiring sleazy Tinseltown mores in alienated, robotic manner. Felix's grooves are reliable, though, as he works variants of Eighties electro-pop stylings, from the electronic pulse of "Nina" to the New Romantic glamour of "Ready 2 Wear" and electro-funk tribal stomp of "Watching Cars Go By".

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