Newest Review: ... 3) Rain 4) Dr. John 5) I See You 6) Blue Eyes 7) Good Gone Girl 8) Touches You 9) By The Time 10) One Foot Boy 11) Toy Boy 12) Pick Up O... more
Pure Pop Perfection
The Boy Who Knew Too Much - Mika
Member Name: magenta23
The Boy Who Knew Too Much - Mika
Advantages: Catchy, uplifting but thought provoking.. no, honestly.
Mika is the curly haired singer songwriter who burst onto the scene a few years back with the love-it-or-hate-it 'Grace Kelly.' Not afraid to be bouncy, bubbly and colourful and sing about happy subjects rather than the boy meets girl boy looses girl rubbish that usually fills the charts, for me he was a breath of fresh air to pop music. 'Pop' unfortunately now has a sigma to it. Pop, basically= rubbish and that's really the fault of nineties boy and girl bands I think. It's a shame, after all The Beatles were considered pop music and can you really lump them in the same category as S Club 7? I tend to listen more to indie and rock music now as a rule. Just occasionally, however a simply superb album comes along that is isn't manufactured rubbish and is sung from the heart from the same talented individual who wrote the lot and isn't afraid to say 'I'm pop music and proud'.
One of those albums was 'Life in Cartoon Motion', Mika's debut album, and I have to admit even a great admirer of the guy like me thought this album might be a one off. Luckily, I was wrong and his follow up, 2009's 'The Boy Who Knew Too Much' is even better.
The opening track is recent single release 'We are Golden.' Yes, it does have some resemblance to Belinda Carlisle's 'Heaven is a Place on Earth' but don't hold that against it. This a brilliant upbeat pop song, with fun lyrics - "Teenage dreams in a teenage circus, running a round like a clown on purpose" (a line the Undertones would have been proud of??!) Try to get this one out of your head once it's in there, it's a pleasurable experience though. Plus the video features Mika bouncing off the walls in nothing but pants and amazing sparkly green trainers. Never a bad thing.
'We are Golden' is followed by a speaking part to introduce the next track about a guy complaining about how his stinks even though he's good looking and loaded. 'Blame it on the Girls' is a story about someone who has more than most but he doesn't help himself in being happy. "You could have children and a wife, a perfect little life, but you blew it on a bottle of wine." It's another upbeat song with a catchy chorus, this is Mika after all, but the tempo isn't so in keeping with the subject matter. I certainly don't feel much for the character being talked about here but lyrics such as 'Blame it on your mother for the things she said, blame it on your father but you know he's dead." stop you in your tracks a little. A good track, but not what it immediately seems.
'Blame it on the Girls' is followed by the dance inspired 'Rain'. This track seems to be the critics favourite, perhaps because it's the one track which isn't true Mika style. While you may not get the dance community embracing Mika, you could see how a remix of this track could really fit into the genre. He did prove he could do this however, recording a brilliant dance version of the Police's 'Can't Stand Losing You' with Armand Van Helden for Radio 1's 40th Birthday. If you've not come across this track, I suggest you hunt it down, you may not like it, but it won't be what you're expecting!
'Dr John' is a sing along almost, nursery rhyme which wouldn't sound out of place in The Beatles era. We learn from Mika's self doodled artwork in the cover that Dr. John is a female doctor, who was freed from her jealous partner. Another song with more to it than it's jolly appearance.
Next up is another change of pace, with a slightly sickly Jackson style slowy, 'I See You'. Not a favourite of mine, there's not a lot to it compared to some of the other tracks on the album, Though he uses the choir featured throughout the album to good effect.
'Blue Eyes', the halfway point of the album is a real highlight. Reminiscent of something else that I can't quite put my finger on, but that doesn't matter because it's a great track in it's own right. A short song, but a winner.
'Good Gone Girl' is perhaps this albums 'Big Girl You Are Beautiful', maybe not with the shout it out chorus but it's a girls song about being on the town. We like this.
'Touches You' is not really sure what it wants to be, it's not big and in your face theatrical like 'We Are Golden' but it's not he understated 'By The Time' either (see below), it's not bad once it's on, but it's not one you'll remember afterwards, as it's a bit samey throughout. Plus the 'touching me, touching you' lyrics just reminds me of The Darkness, and even Mika can't sing that high!
'By The Time' is my favourite. It's slow and sweet but beautiful. The backing singers are as much the stars in this as Mika, who shows us can be soft and he's not all about falsetto. For those of you who know 'Life in Cartoon Motion', this is it's follow up's 'Happy Ending.' Proof, also that a song doesn't have to be big and annoying to be catchy!
Back to the falsetto, 'One Foot Boy' is a sing a long type, typical Mika, but not his strongest, I can imagine this being good live though.
Into nursery rhyme mode 'Toy Boy' on first listening I thought 'what is this?!' Without listening to the lyrics it is like something from Playdays. Yes it is what you think, a story about a toy, presumably a doll but when you really listen to it, some of the lyrics are hilarious and not really kids stuff. "She's the meanest hag that has ever been, pulled out my insides with a safety pin." Also wonder if this doll might be part Mika himself, no doubt lyrics such as "But your mama thought there was somethin' wrong/ Didn't want you sleeping with a boy too long/ It's a serious thing in a grown-up world/ Maybe you'd be better with a Barbie girl" will fuel rumours about his sexuality.
'Pick up off the Floor', the closing track of 'The Boy Who Knew Too Much' feels like it's come straight from the stage. Theatrical and heartfelt, makes me wonder if Mika would do a 'We Will Rock You' and put his music on a stage, no one could deny it's theatre.
I've seen him live when he was touring 'Life in Cartoon Motion' and his live performances are a force to be reckoned with complete with people in giant rabbit suits and drumming battles. Mika is an intriguing character and for all the flamboyance in his music and on stage, he's a very private person and have I've read that he's actually incredibly shy. I just thinks this makes him more likeable, a breath of fresh air that some one is in the pop industry for the music and not the fame.
Overall a brilliant album, maybe not liked much by some critics, to be honest I think they must have been listening to the wrong CD. Not quite as bouncy happy happy stuff as his debut, Mika here tackles some new issues in this new offering, but that doesn't take away from it being a real feel good album, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Summary: Proof that there's more to Mika than high notes and colourful shirts.