Band Name: Mika
Album Name: Life in Cartoon Motion
Best Element: All around superb musicianship
Label Name: Casablanca
Band E-mail: n/a
The current pop climate is open for a jack-of-all-trades, and after listening to Mika’s debut album Life In Cartoon Motion, that seems to be exactly the title he’s going for. From theatrical rock (lead single “Grace Kelly”) to smooth disco (“Relax, Take It Easy”) to quirky piano pop (“Billy Brown”), Mika covers it all… and it’s a clean sweep across the board.
Life In Cartoon Motion is 2007’s first perfect pop album. Its choruses are bigger than everyone else’s, and its ringleader, led by his remarkable falsetto, undeniably brandishes that ever-so-coveted x-factor. Like it or not, Mika is destined to be a star. And, really, how could you not like it? With songs as addictive as the stomping playground romp “Lollipop” and the this-is-how-Orson-should-have-sounded “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)”, resistance really is futile. Life In Cartoon Motion even has its anthem, the gorgeous guitar/dance hybrid Love Today. Its potentially saccharine sentiments are brilliantly subverted as Mika ends the chorus with a simple refrain: “love, love me.” We do.
Equally impressive, albeit in different ways, is Any Other World, a haunting ballad that makes excellent use of a cutting string section. Then there’s Stuck in the Middle, a very Scissor Sisters-esque track with a piano riff that echoes that very band’s “Laura” from a few years back. Add that to the radio pop of “My Interpretation” and the soul-inflected closer “Happy Ending,” and you’ve got a filler-free, absolute delight of an album. As Mika himself preaches: “Relax, take it easy.” And, enjoy. A
Key Tracks: Love Today, Any Other World, Relax, Take It Easy
– Nick James