Narrative of Thee Blast Illusion Review
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I’ve never been into the club scene (spare the nerd jokes), so the name Felix Da Housecat meant next to nothing when I first heard it a few days ago. However, upon further exploration, I discovered that Felix is quite the dance music legend—largely credited with ushering in the electroclash era and even overcoming an alcohol addiction in the midst of a career spanning twenty-plus years. With his newest release, Narrative of Thee Blast Illusion, Felix takes a more subdued approach, focusing more on the ride home from the club rather than the club scene itself—an admirable endeavor for sure, but one that yields mostly underwhelming results.

Since the album is described by Felix himself as “a night album,” it didn’t make much sense to listen to it during the day. But I’m not the type to go cruising through the wee hours of the morning, either—especially just to listen to music—so I decided to take the best from both worlds by listening to the album during the day with my eyes closed while visualizing myself cruising home from a long night of clubbin’ (okay, bring on the nerd jokes). And I must say that it worked—at least to some extent—helping me garner a healthy appreciation for what some of these songs bring to the night life, whether it be the mix of robotic and primitive sounds in “Lookin’ 4 A Reason,” the slow, sexual energy of “Codeine Cowboy,” or the lyrical and musical interplay of “Freakz On Time.”

  
 
However, appreciation is not enjoyment, and—aside from the funky bass line melodies and spot-on tempo changes that make songs like “?Why Games” and “Is Everything Ok?” cruise-worthy no matter what time of day it is—the album suffers from a serious lack of catchy melodies and meaningful lyrics, which wouldn’t be such a big deal if Felix hadn’t described it as being “about melody and lyrics.” To make matters worse, Felix all too frequently seems incapable of meshing the two together. While songs like “The Natural” and “Devon’s Box” overshadow potentially contemplative lyrics for melody, the lack thereof in songs like “Candy Talk,” “Karma’s Catching Hell,” “Queer,” and “Turn Off the Television” highlight lyrics that are about as reflective as a brick—including gems like “What do you see inside me?/What can we say?/We want to play.”

If I may: I don’t have x-ray vision/nothing/and thanks but no thanks.

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