Album Review: Virgo, Blaktro & The Movie Disco - Felix Da Housecat

In which our man Felix gets concept once again.

Three years have passed since the last Felix Da Housecat long-player and it's impossible not to think that he's missed a trick a bit. Following the crossover hit of Kittenz & The Glitz and the overtly commercial Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever such a large hiatus has killed the momentum somewhat.

Which begs the question, "What now?" The answer comes in the form of yet another concept album, this time supposedly influenced by black pop, disco and electro of the late seventies & early eighties. In reality such insipation is just that - nothing more than inspiration. With the exception of funk shakedown 'It's Your Move' nothing on Virgo, Blaktro ever sounds like anything other than Felix churning out another pop album. An enjoyable re-tread of Devo's 'Snowball' anyone? Hardly black is it.

Still, well constructed pop is a glorious thing and for its part, there are moments of sheer joy here. Indeed the aforementioned Devo re-work 'Sweetfrosti' may add nothing to the original and be completely ridiculous yet it still ends up pretty glorious if only for the fact that *that* synth don't get old.

'Radio' envelopes the listener in a giant melody sandwich, a giant pean to the joy of the wireless, whilst 'Like Something 4 Porno' and its utterly ridiculous lyrics will crowbar their way into your subconscious. The purring 'Lookin' My Best' is total glamour-puss Felix but the album highlights come in the form of 'Tweak' and 'Something For The Dawn'.

Both are Felix's most dancefloor focused tracks Devin Dazzle's lead single 'Watching Cars Go By'. 'Tweak' is total acid techno, reminiscent of '...Strobe' off Felix's unreleased album, I Know Elektrikboy (yes, another concept album) and it sounds like it was made to soundtrack nightclub scenes in films and on TV. Closer 'Future Calls The Dawn' is pure Felix and BlackPlastic loves him for it. Similar in style to both Kittenz and Devin Dazzle it is a driving house number with Felix's trademark vocals with an understated breakdown that's just too cool.

But what's wrong with it? It's just too damn short basically. Of the 16 tracks four (two back to back) are little more than skits and another five are under two-and-a-half minutes long. The result is that much of the album instinctively feels unfinished and, suprisingly for a concept album, unfocussed. It's good to be left wanting more but not if it is at the expense of overall quality. The length would have been fine with a few less but more fleshed out tracks.

Still, what BlackPlastic really wants to know is when Girl's Aloud are going to wake-up and hire Felix as their producer. Now THERE is a concept. As the girl says on one of the skits: Pretty girls don't dance, they just pose to techno.

Paris Is Burning.

BP x

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