Electroclash was just a 15-minute cocaine high on the pop time line, so Miss Kittin is deservedly cranky on her solo debut-cum-comedown, I Com. She kicks off a liturgy of her sub-A-list duties (adding people to the guest lists, kissing cheeks) on the opening track, "Professional Distortion," before reminding us that she has no right to complain.
I Com is no apology, though. It's boldly self-obsessed, right down to the dark, antidance vibe that emerges mid-album, where each song begins to flow into the next, recalling Kittin's first love, DJing. There's even a little clash-back as she and co-producers G.L.O.V.E. mimic Madonna's co-opting of the underground: "Distortion" kicks like Ellen Allien's snare-as-shrapnel school of beats; "The Soundtrack of Now" (featuring old partner the Hacker) arrives fashionably early (like, by years) to the celebration of heyday Detroit techno; and the ghetto-tech "Requiem for a Hit" reworks an oft-repeated Chicago sample ("I'll beat that bitch with a bat") while Kittin distances herself from misogyny with her Billboard-focused rapped translation: "I'll beat that bitch with a hit." Here and everywhere, X-factor and moxie outshine irony, making I Com a smart move for a smart girl. -- Rich Juzwiak