I really don't know what I think and feel about the new album. The first time I listened to it, it flopped big for me. And it wasn't because I didn't like the songs. It was more that I had problems to rearrange myself with this new site of Mika. OOL is for sure not LICM or TBWKTM part 2. It's a thousand time more like the second album of Samuel
, if I'm looking for something for comparison. And I like him, so what's the problem?
The thing is, that there are a lot of elements in Mikas older songs that I LOVE - that made the difference between liking other artists and being Mika-fan. And parts of them aren't on the new album.
It has something to do with the building up and the feeling of the songs - somehow you can hear that they are written with/for the piano, even if there are a lot of layers and no piano in the finished product. Acoustic songs produced in a poppy way. Even in dancy songs like "Relax". I don't have this feeling with the new album.
I had/have this big emotional reactions to them - the urge to dance like a maniac, throwing up my arms, feeling from head to toe, like a musical shower. With the new album it's more singing and head-wipping.
This pure happiness (but at the same time the intelligent, twisted and dark lyrics). Even if Mika has described OOL as joyful and happy it's not the main emotion of the album for me. More - positive desire (?)
The creative layers - you could pick up every instrument-line and it would have been interesting for itself. In the new album you need them alltogether.
Actually the covers are fitting perfectly to the music in a visual way - the older songs are this whole bunch of mixed primary colours, the new songs are a lot of shades of one colour.
Yes, and I like the character-, "hidden" story-telling songs (but that I won't get that I knew beforehand).
Gosh, I want to add "if that does make sense" after nearly every sentence in this paragraph. Hard to describe feelings in words, especially if I can't even put my finger on what it is exactly.
BUT: That doesn't make the new songs bad ones and that doesn't mean that I can't love them in other ways. And they have elements that the old ones are missing in comparison, too. But I had this loss-feeling in the beginning. If even Mika don't write new (old-)Mika-songs, nobody will do it, because they are totally unique. And I can't have enough of them
So, on the first day I thought the whole time: I like it as an album. But do I like it as a Mika-album?
But of course I realized that the songs where good and that I like them and after some listenings my feelings figured out that I have to take what I have and not what I don't have and that what I have can be great, too. In one interview Mika said, that he wanted to approach OOL as if it was his first album. And exactly that I had to do myself.
And looking at OOL as Mikas "first" album I can say that it is a very good "first" album for sure
Some thoughts about the songs after a couple of listenings to the album (and without reading the lyrics so far - fully understanding them may change my opinion later).
Origin of Love
After a couple of listening to the album this was even the/one of the songs that I liked at least. Somehow it was boring and the "expression" was missing for me. But then I listened to the version of the short film (I didn't do it before). And at that moment I had the feeling I'm listening to a big song. The difference between the two versions isn't even that big - but somehow it makes a huge difference for me. I think it's because his singing voice is clearer "in front of" the choir and the beat in the short-film-version - and Mika is transferring a lot of emotion through his voice (or I "receive" a lot of emotion through his voice). Furthermore the choir is more prominent, which is giving the song more "oomph". In the album version singing voice, choir, instruments and distractions are more mashed up and the instruments are overlapping at lot. He really shouldn't have changed it in my humble opinion.
But even if the shortfilm-version is much better, I think that OOL should have been produced in another way - maybe more "human" and more "hymnic". Than it could have been a BIG song.
I like the rhythm of the bass. I like the rhythm of the piano. I like the melody of the verses. I like the "Lola, I've made up my mind…". I like the polyphony throughout the song and especially at the end. And the feeling of the track reminds me a little bit of "One foot boy", which I love. Regarding all that I'm supposed to fall head over heels for the song - but I don't do it or a least not as much as I would expect. Maybe I listened too much to the live version and I've therefore transcended the crush-phase already?
I'm not sure. I like the spacy feeling at the beginning and how it builds up. And after the first time of listening to the album I had "put a little stardust" in my head - it has a catchiness in it for sure. But something is missing that pushes my over the edge and makes me love this song. Maybe it doesn't hold up the tension through the whole song? But it could be that only a couple of more listenings is the "something" that is needed
Make You Happy
I like this version MUCH MORE than the L.A. Edit. For sure because it's much less electronic and you can hear his voice clearly and pure in most parts. It's nearly an acoustic version with strings - aside from the "all I wanna do is make you happy". But even that isn't only a computervoice anymore. I really like how Mika sings / shouts together with the computervoice at the end of the song. In the contrast it's so full of emotions and so human. But the computervoice itself I will never like, I think. About the song, though, I can't say that anymore. Could even be that it will end up as one of the songs that will really lie at my heart.
And as much problems I had at the beginning with this song, it's clearly one of the most interesting Mika-Songs lyrically. I'm eager to look deeper into the lyrics of the album-version and the development between the album-edit and L.A.-edit (and hence the two different moments in the relationship that the two versions are describing).
I'm one of the few people that wasn't fangirling for the liveversion
I really did love the "cause all I need…" from Seoul, but the rest was just okay for. And I had some problems with the "Underwaterrrrrrrrrr", to long with nothing else. The live version of the festivals this summer I did like much more, because of the drumstick-noise and the "bolero"-rhythm that made the "Underwaterrrrrrr" interesting and gave the song indeed a watery feeling. And I liked the new, melodic end. And now with the studio-version it was "wow" for me - the song gets / feels so big when the "Underwaterrrrrr" starts.
The strange thing is, that Mika told the truth with his two answers in Spain, even if the seemed contradicting then
It's an total different song from the demo version, so no danger of destroying the demo. And I will love this one forever. But I'm loving the new Overrated, too. Well, not too, even much more. It's GREAT. It's so intense und full of emotion, dark and destroying and raw feelings, and has this self-destructioness. The "breath out, breath in" at the beginning feels like a cut with a knife. Furthermore, the "Overrated… overrated" won't go out of my head - and I don't want it to go out of my head.
Never heart something in this combination. It's really tenuous - and has at the same time that pushing beat. But it works. And I like it - very much. It has something volatile in the chorus and I feel like I'm levitating while listening.
Love You When I'm Drunk
When I first heart it I had a big grin on my face after the first seconds. One of my favourites. The mad drunken Christmas song
It's crazy in the most positive way. I love the lyrics. I love his voice in the verses. I love how his voice is overturning in the chorus. I love how it makes me wanting to do a silly jump-dance.
Step with me
I don't like songs with this braked-midtempo, forced-relaxed beat. Makes me crazy, I have the urge to speed it up all the time. So there was a little aversion while I first listened to the song. But I was sure that I would get customized to it after some listenings and that I would like it in the end. And that happened - I even like the relaxed feeling now.
But then the chorus started - and I loved it from the first second. The melody is great. I want to listen to it again and again and again… And I start to sing and move every time I hear it - an effect, that a lot of the older Mika-songs had on me, but not much of the newer ones. But the chorus of Step with me has it.
And I really like his deep voice in this song.
Well, it's not really rap - more melody-rap or whatever
I like it very much. Especially the rhythm of the song. The "popular" that switches in falsetto (I didn't know Wicked, so it was new for me) and the "ohohohoho", too. As well as the portion of craziness. And their voices are fitting really well. Priscilla has a great sassyness here, too.
Even if it's the same melody and arrangement (aside from the additions) as EMD and parts of the lyrics are the same translated, I experience it as a different song. It has the total opposite perspective of speaker and has a different feeling (speaking in colours, EMD is orange for me, Emily is blue, if that does make any sense at all). I like the "Emilyyyyyy". My favourite line is "are you stuck up, are you gay, if you are, well that's okay, cause it doesn't even matter"
But the "dance dance dance" with the different A-loud sounds silly in my ears - whereas the "danse danse danse" sounds great.
Musically it's a quiet song. It has something very fragile. And something "light-hymnic". But emotional it feels really big. It has already a place in my heart. One of these songs I really feel. It kind of has similar effects to me as "Any other world".
Yes, I love it, did it from the start. It's like a firework of positive emotions. But somehow I like it more as a single song, it's more "sparkling" in this way, than in the context of the album, where it's "only" part of the album. But as much as I like it, I have one point of criticism: the parts that are missing in the track - the China-Boy-verses and the "I wanna come home" (which is not really missing, but which is drowned by other lines and instruments). I LOVE these parts and with them Celebrate could have been much much better.
I LOVE IT. I expected something totally different from the title - some silly, happy song. But it's nothing like that at all. I love his voice in this song. And the bridge ("when I stumble and fall…") is (one of) my most favourite moments on the CD atm: his voice there, and how it feels like a bubble that gets big (sorry, I can't describe it better
). Another great moment is the "I've got the freedom"-part because it's thematically and how he sings it so "Mika". I like the lyrics, too. Only the chorus is a little bit weaker than the rest.
Elle me dit
I liked it back in 2011 and I still like it. It makes me dance. And it has this warmness in it. Another reason why I like it, is, that it's more a sung story and has lyrics from the beginning to the end. That's totally different to most of the songs out there. And the "elle me dit danse, elle me dit danse, danse danse" at the end is one of my favourite Mika-song-parts ever.
I don't feel that he did something wrong with this song. Even if I may would have preferred a piano version. Partly I can feel this "freeness", which I like so much about the song, on the studio-version, too. But live (and especially in Compiegne) it had something magical. I don't know, on CD it feels "only" like a French pop song - live it was a chanson with so much emotion that did go straight into my heart. While hearing and seeing him live I understand this song even if I don't understand the actual French words.
L'Amour Dans Le Mauvais Temps
I must admit that I like it in this version. The song will never loose a portion of cheesiness (even if I don't understand the French lyrics they sound cheesy
) But here it's in an amount that it's more than bearable. Leaving out Ida, the acoustic arrangement and the non understandable lyrics (for me as a non-French-speaker
) benefitted the song very much. But I don't like the "echoed" voice in the background, I think I would have preferred only the "main voice".
Un Soleil Mal Luné
Mikas pure voice + piano = love. I couldn't reproduce the melody if somebody would ask me to do it. But every time I hear it, I think/feel that it is so beautiful.
My favourites from the beginning und still at the moment are Tah Day, Overrated and Love you when I'm drunk. But while writing the review and listening to OOL it has started to change already. And I have the feeling that it will change A LOT over the next weeks. Therefore it's impossible for me to add an "scale" how much I like a song atm.
Saying that, the songs are very near for me - there is not one that I love much much more than the others, but also not one that I don't like at all or much less than the others.
And the strange is, that my feeling about nearly every song is "I like it very, very much". But I don't know if I can say that I love
them and that I have a "emotional connection" to the songs (already). Which I have with nearly every older Mika-song and what really makes the difference between Mika and other artists for me. But maybe they only need a little bit of time to take the step from "like very much" to "love by heart". After all my thoughts about "Relax", the song that made me discover Mika, over the first weeks where "it's a good catchy song" before it grew to be one of the most important songs ever for me