The Neon Fever, an assemblage of coquettish girls named Neon, Sarah Jane, Natalia, Estelle, Laurence, Jenny, and Cristina, play temptresses to Devin Dazzle (embodied largely by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Tyrone “Visionary” Palmer), a poor fictional sap making his way through the retro-futurist milieu of Felix Da Housecat’s Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever, the Chicago house-meister’s semi-high-concept follow-up to his 2001 breakthrough Kittenz & Thee Glitz. Things begin with “Rocket Ride,” an electro-clash siren call that seduces “Devin” into the rubbery, glam-punk fashion show mixtape that follows. The album is crammed with loads of “geetar” and live drums—enough to cross Felix over into the next [insert any rock sub-genre] renaissance. But Felix (or should I say Dazzle?) hits his stride during the album’s second half, when he channels ‘80s-era Prince and Herbie Hancock (on “Nina” and “Neon Human,” respectively) and when his female counterparts are allowed to preen and crack their whips freely (or methodically, as “Donna the Cyberwhore” does so efficiently on “Watching Cars Go By”). Halfway through the album, it’s clear The Neon Fever are in service of their Queen Bee dominatrix Kate Wax, who presides over the Bond-esque “Romantique” and “Let Your Mind Be Your Bed.” Dazzle‘s centerpiece (and the binding thematic thread that informs everything else on the album) is “Everyone Is Someone In LA.” The track isn’t just another censure of an allegorical town, it’s a promise of “sex shows, porn stars, kilos” and “shopping all day on Rodeo Drive.” Like the entire album, it’s a wish-you-were-here postcard from the ‘80s.
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