Who would have guessed that 2009 (or any year, for that matter) would be the year of electroclash’s comeback, with new albums from Fischerspooner, Peaches, Larry Tee, DJ Hell, Miss Kittin And The Hacker, Tiga, and now Felix Da Housecat? Granted, it’s unfair to lump veteran Hell (whose Teufelswerk is agreeably ambitious, Diddy cameo and all) and especially Felix in with the rest: Da Housecat was making jacking Chicago house long before Kittenz And Thee Glitz, his 2001 album, accidentally summed up the fashionista-dance era thanks to the hard-angled thump of “Silver Screen Shower Scene.” But Felix’s work has been steadily declining since then, and He Was King does nothing to reverse the trend. It’s cute that “We All Wanna Be Prince” turns on an even more robotic variation on the automaton-like thump that drove “Dirty Mind” back before the Minneapolitan turned to drum machines full time, but it’s mostly a hollow pastiche. “Plastik Fantastik” tries on a little of thee old glitz, but it lacks shine; “Spank U Very Much” and “Do Not Try This at Home” are weak-tea versions of Starbucks indie-pop, even as the latter croons about how Felix “put a shotgun to my head.” The one great moment is “Kickdrum,” a ridiculous instrumental showcasing synth-drum programming as obnoxious as a circa-2002 club-kid outfit—and a lot funnier.
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