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Fantasmo Review

by Andy Kellman

Crossover's Fantasmo stains the reputation of the International Deejay Gigolo label. Seemingly split between songs that roam in a kitschy party-playful mode (a mode many an IDG artist is known for) and a half-formed concept record about riding scarlet swans to thwart the Lord of the Masquerade (is that supposed to be capitalized or what?), these nine songs dribble and putter and meander around with bland, unimaginative arrangements that hover more often than they excite. The co-ed vocals -- from the two New York City transplants who make up the duo -- seem way too high in the mix, and most of them are too expressive and/or twee to complement the tracks; as everything by Adult. and certain Felix da Housecat tracks demonstrate, vocal robo-pop productions are best suited for detached (or, uh, robotic) vocalists. Daniel Miller didn't have someone like Cyndi Lauper sing on the Normal's "Warm Leatherette" for a very good reason, you know? The high point is "Kobe," because it's basically an instrumental. Without vocals, there's less to not like. The low point is "Lady Dragon Slayer," a plodding toytown electro track that aspires to Green Velvet-like storytelling. The protagonist spins a tale that isn't exactly clear: "I'm the lady dragon slayer/Ha ha ha/Hee hee hee/What?/Ba ba/Go go go/Where should I go?" While it does seem somewhat pointless to be hard on a record that is so lighthearted and well-meaning, a waste of money is a waste of money. Beware the magic thicket, for the horse-mounted berserker who lurks within it is offering you this record. And it would be best to avoid it, brave record shopper.

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