After Kittenz and Thee Glitz propelled Felix da Housecat to the forefront of the electroclash scene and made him an identifying face of the new wave revival, no one was too terribly sure as to what his next effort might sounds like. A twisted track for the Party Monster soundtrack and remixes for Kelly Osbourne, Madonna, and Mylene Farmer surfaced, each fairly contradictory as to any overarching direction in sound (though the Farmer track, a percolating romp through Je TAime Melancolie, is the best of the four).
Then came that Cyberwhore 12". It sounded like a typical electroclash record, which is to say that it could either be a genuine offering or a parody of an electroclash record at the exact same time. It didnt do too much for me, but it started popping up on countless compilations, so it was affecting someone, thats for sure. Its here on this record, but now its called Watching Cars Go By. And like far too much of this album, it just feels kind of dashed off. The new single, Rocket Ride, seems bereft of the wit and innovation we associate with da Housecat, and that, under normal circumstances, would make me incredibly sad.
The fortunate thing is that even if this album disappoints as a whole, it still has four excellent tracks that stand among the best of FdHs offerings. Album-closer Neon Human feels like an actual lost 80s classic, pulsating with energy and attitude. Let Your Mind Be Your Bed has an inspired drum loop and great synth programs that complement the disaffected female vocalist, and Ready 2 Wear actually feels like a real song, with a great chorus that feels like The Human League, where the delivery is heartfelt and passionate while at the same time being deadpan and cool. The albums finest track is Devin Dazzle, which truly innovates. I havent heard a dance track that sounds anything quite like this before, and the strangeness and beauty of it continue to entrance even after the album ends.
I wish the rest of this Neon Fever were up to that level of greatness, but it just isnt. That said, its still very much worth giving a listen to, even if only those four tracks.