Felix da Housecat

He Was King

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Felix da Housecat has made no secret of his admiration for Prince, and one thing Felix has in common with his idol is a chameleonic spirit. Felix, like Prince, has not been afraid to try different things on different albums; he started out with house music but went on to embrace everything from electroclash to techno. And He Was King, it turns out, is largely a Euro-dance album. Felix recorded this 2009 release in Antwerp, Belgium, which is a good place to record if you are going for a very European sound -- and that European influence is impossible to miss on infectious synth pop grooves like "Spank U Very Much," "Plastik Fantastik," "Do We Move Your World," and "Turn Me on a Summer Smile" (all of which Felix produced or co-produced). Felix has been quoted as saying that he wanted He Was King to be a "fun" album; the abovementioned songs do, in fact, have a strong sense of fun, as does the humorous opener "We All Wanna Be Prince" (which combines an obvious Prince influence with Euro-pop elements). Occasionally, He Was King detours into hardcore rave territory. "L.A. Ravers" and "Elvi$" are pure techno, and neither of them go out of their way to appeal to those who aren't seasoned fans of rave music. But the rave-friendly parts of He Was King are not typical of this 46-minute CD on the whole. For the most part, He Was King emphasizes pop accessibility -- and it often does so with catchy, likable results.

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