Felix Stallings Jr. known to the digital world as Felix Da Housecat was born in Detroit but raised in Chi-town. Developing his talents from a young age, Felix made his first industry bones at the age of fourteen, collaborating with DJ Pierre in 1987 for the underground hit "Phantasy Girl." From then on his career took off, releasing a string of early eclectronic-pop albums in the 90's while establishing his own label, Radikal Fear. The man has mostly stayed under the radar of pop culture because he is never joining the many musicians who are selling out to join the latest "trend." Felix has said it best himself, "Once the trend dies, you die with it..."
After a respectful career of ten albums while finding time to remix tracks for Madonna, and Kylie Minogue, Felix Da Housecat has just finished working on perhaps his biggest project, twenty tracks for P. Diddy's new dance album. His 2004 release, Devin Dazzle and the Neon Fever is more different than similar to his last release, 2001's Kittenz and Thee Glitz. Felix has traded in his turntables for warm and analog synths. In addition, the famed Ms. Kittenz is replaced by a slew of other performers, most notably a group of ladies Felix has dubbed The Neon Fever Girls. Like most of his passed albums, Devin Dazzle and the Neon Fever is a concept album about a moral man corrupted by the nightlife.
After the galactic intro, "Rocket Ride," starts up and features the sexy singing of the Neon Fever Girls over a 80's pop groove, chopped with a bouncing bassline. "what She wants" calls on James Murphy to dawn his best David Bowie impersonation. "Short Skirts" has The Neon Fever Girls singing of breaking men's hearts by stepping on their spines, a clever concept with a subtle drug twist which aptly reflects the 80's dance scene. "Ready to Wear" is the most 80's influenced track utilizing sounds that are quite similar to the Miami Vice intro while Tyrone Palmer establishes his tenor dominance. "Romantique" is a cool cut featuring a woman singing with a French accent which uniquely compliments the beat. "Everyone Is Someone in LA" is the standout track in my opinion, fusing metal guitar and 80's techno pop. "Hunting Season" is another man-killer song by The Neon Fever Bitches, whoops, I mean girls, while "Nitelife Funworld" is a spooky combustion of electronic and analog sounds. Tyrone Palmer lends his 80's charm one more time on The final couple of cuts, "Nina" and "Devin Dazzle."
Who the hell liked the 80's anyhow? The Felix remix versions are a much better summary for my ears to succumb too. Devin Dazzle and The Neon Fever wont have everyone talking but is another solid release from the Chicago native. Though it lacks elements found on Kittenz some may enjoy Felix's new addition of synths and other analog sounds. One thing that is constant is his album cover. Felix has once again put out a colorful front making him seem like the King of 80's dance, and in my mind he very well may be.