Album Review: He Was King - Felix Da Housecat

Long time BP readers will probably be aware of the BlackPlastic love affair with Felix, dating back to his glorious Kittenz and Thee Glitz album. Last album, 2007's Virgo Blaktro & The Movie Disco failed to live up to the expectations set by both Kittenz and its follow up Davin Dazzle and the Neon Fever - fast forward to 2009 and new album He Was King is set to drop in a few weeks following little fanfare.

Part of the fun of an album getting released from one of your favourite artists is in the anticipation. As such it is actually almost disappointing that felix's new album is already here but one thing is clear - He Was King is a return to form following Virgo.

Opener 'We All Wanna Be Prince' splices together lines from Prince records to create a love letter to everyone's favourite purple king of pop and from the off Felix is revisiting the best parts of his own catalogue. Not since Devin Dazzle's glorious 'Ready 2 Wear' has Felix created something as gorgeous as this album's opener.

And whilst the album opens on a pure pop moment there are some dance-floor gems too, recalling the dark 'Strobe' from Virgo and some of Felix's earlier, pre-Kittenz albums. 'Kick Drum', all empty-space, distortion and repetitive vocals, is a dubby love letter to the dancefloor and those girls that get lost on it. More than anything though it is 'Elvi$' that will provide He Was King its lasting dancefloor hit - a tweaking acid epic that would slot right into to many DJs sets to provide a suitable climax... It's long, wonky and just a bit nasty.

The highlights probably come in the form of the pop-couplet formed by 'Do We Move Your World' and 'We'. Not connected except for in their proximity to each other in the album's flow and the fact they both aim for a similar melodic sound, they are the tracks on this album that are most reminiscent of Felix's Kittenz era. 'Do We Move Your World' builds nicely to a hook before blasting off the launch pad whilst 'We' is pure-synthesized joy - sassy and cool, sleazy and honest, it is Felix at his best.

He Was King may not top either Kittenz and Thee Glitz or Devin Dazzle but it certainly comes close to equalling them. There are moments here that easily stand-up with the best on either of those albums, all He Was King lacks is the overriding sense of experimentation those albums boasted.

BP x

He Was King is released on Nettwerk on 24 August, available for pre-order from on CD and MP3 [affiliate links].