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Life In Cartoon Motion

MIKA

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iTunes Review

No less an authority than Sex Pistol-cum-DJ Steve Jones has opined he finds the aught-something UK pop scene a dizzying, trend-challenged stew, a notion this cocky debut by Lebanon-born/Paris conservatory trained Mika reinforces with high-flying glee. Deconstruct it and you’ll find some familiar ‘70s sonic touchstones at its core, specifically Elton John’s pop-craft smarts and Freddie Mercury’s flair for over-the-top showmanship, right down to the delicious, campy abandon with which the musician delivers his soaring falsetto on the impossibly effervescent opener/Euro-breakout single “Grace Kelly.” “Relax” suggests the Scissor Sisters with a serious Abba jones, while “Interpretation” spotlights a solid, more traditional ballad instinct and the Broadway-ready “Billy Brown” showcases an artist who knows how to employ the copious surplus brass he carries between his musical legs.

Customer Reviews

Fresh and Retro At Once

Mika's debut album will draw (and has drawn) comparisions to artists before him. However, his songs are unique, quirky confections. Indulge in this album. The songs are easy to get lost in, but listen for the serious spoken bits between some of them. My one qualm--this could qualify as "pop" rather than "rock." 1) Grace Kelly is the album's best-known single, and it is catchy.--5 2) Lollipop is about being wary of love, but it is sugary and bouncy.--5 3) My Interpretation is a bit slower as it reflects on relationships.--4 4) Love Today is totally dance-y. It makes me want to twirl around.--5 5) Relax, Take It Easy will sound familiar, but it's worth it. It reminds me to calm down.--5 6) Ring Ring is upbeat but its content is predictable.--3 7) Any Other World is a hauntingly beautiful, calmer song and my personal favorite here.--5 8) Billy Brown is pure fun with its silly storyline.--5 9) Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) is an ode to heavier women that everyone can listen to.--4 10) Stuck in the Middle is an excellent song that is less dance-able.--5 11) Erase tries to narrate emotions and does pretty well at it.--4 12) Happy Ending uses choral voices well and strikes a sadder tone.--5 13) Over My Shoulder is more of a dark, sad, and haunting song.--4 14) Grace Kelly (Acoustic) easily invokes Freddie Mercury, as it should.--5

Phenomenal All Around

Mika is a phenomenal vocalist and musician; his classical training in the Royal College of Opera is extremely valuable. This training gives him a real credibility, unlike many other popular musicians which plague our airwaves today. Mika's falsetto is unbelievable, his vocal range is superb, a modern-day reincarnation of Freddie Mercury's unforgettable talent. Furthermore, Mika's music is uplifting, soul affirming, from the very depths of the heart. Although at first glance, his lyrics and themes might seem superficial and meaningless, they in fact reflect a deep personal experience, drawing from his own life and the lives of his closest and most beloved family members. In "Lollipop," Mika sings to his younger sister, warning her of the misfortunes and tragedies of love that inevitably await any young person. Similar themes are reflected throughout, speaking of deep and profound aspects of the human condition. Though they are to be enjoyed, these songs and tunes are to be meditated and reflected on, a quality which is rare in a lot of pop music in this day and age. I just fear that Mika might be a little bit too unusual for US audiences to truly enjoy, even though his album and songs took #1 throughout the UK and Europe. Mika will always remain a favorite of mine, and I hope that you all enjoy this brand new record.

You're going to "love, love", him.

MIKA, MIKA, MIKA. Where do I begin? All I can say is if you enjoy fun, melodic, & quirky pop music then MIKA will suit you just fine. This man is amazing. The album will take awhile to grow on you especially the slower songs, but trust me you will fall in love with this album. I honestly do love all of the tracks but some of the standouts for me would have to be the first single, “Grace Kelly”, the second single, “Love Today”, “Relax, Take It Easy”, “Lollipop”, “Any Other World”, & “Happy Ending/Over My Shoulder”. Get this album, you WILL love it. I’m almost sure you will. MIKA has longevity. I seriously can’t wait to see/hear what he does next!

Biography

Born: August 18, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Pop magpie Mika's bright, kaleidoscopic music has drawn comparisons to everyone from Queen and Elton John to the Scissor Sisters and Rufus Wainwright. Born Michael Holbrook Penniman in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and American father, Mika and his parents moved to Paris while he was still a very young child, and eventually London by the time he was nine years old. The frequent moves, incidents like his father being taken hostage at Kuwait's...
Full Bio

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