FELIX DA HOUSECAT

He Was King (Nettwerk)

For every album he does, Felix Da Housecat chooses an aspect of musical history, or a particular artist, to focus on. For He Was King -- Felix's tenth album, if you include compilations -- it's Prince, an artist Felix has emulated in past compositions. Though each track here takes something from a different Prince album, He Was King is not derivative; it is simply informed by Prince. Felix puts his own electro-tinged, drum machine-driven pop, robotic-vocaled stamp on everything. Something about the high-pitched, breathy vocals of singer Nese Djouma gives He Was King a touch of French dance. This is particularly pronounced on "Do Not Try This at Home," where one almost feels compelled to project a French accent on the minimal beat pattern, while shrill vocals balance the electronic growls of impressive belching basslines on "Machine." Like all Felix albums, He Was King has great ideas, but only works one song at a time -- very loud, in a club setting.

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