Felix da Housecat
Kittenz and Thee Glitz
Cube / Emperor Norton
There are too many problems with delving into the music of the past, and, without enumerating what they are, I think the main problem with Kittenz and Thee Glitz is that, while diving headlong into the ’80s, da Housecat could’ve used some millennial equipment with him. Any era has its own sound because of the technology of the day (whether it’s the Hammond or the SP1200). And to simply copy that sound, at best, can be considered kitsch. And, well, how much praise does “Weird Al” Yankovic really deserve?
Of course, having barely escaped the music of the ’80s with my dignity intact, I’m finding all these fond reminisces of the totally plastic time hard to swallow. It was hard to get over that postjudice when listening to this album. But since this is Felix (or half of 2 Black Ninjas or Thee Madkatt Courtship or Wonderboy or Sharkimax or Aphrohead), I tried desperately…
…and failed just as desperately. Don’t get me wrong. There are some fun tracks on the disc (the psychedelic beach funk farce of “What Does It Feel Like?,” “Glitz Rock,” and the faux Michael Jackson soul of “Pray For a Star”), but Felix is too deep in the ’80s — terry cloth tie, sockless loafers, paisley suspenders, and coked-up supermodels, and all. And, unlike, say, his neo-soul counterparts, who are stuck in the funk — but with a hip-hop edge — there’s not much from today that makes you feel that there’s some sort of exploration’s going on here. Just plain bitin’. You might as well get out your K-Tel collection, pop the top of your wine cooler, and curl up to a Brett Easton Ellis novel.
Emperor Norton Records: http://www.emperornorton.com