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MIKA "Life In Cartoon Motion" Reviews 2007

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Posted (edited)

I've found a few articles/reviews of LICM from early 2007

 

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Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion

 

Review by Jack Foley

 

 

BEIRUT-born, London-based singer-songwriter Mika shot to attention when he topped the BBC’s Sound of 2007 poll. His debut single Grace Kelly then shot straight to number one thanks to download sales.

 

It’s safe to say that his defiantly catchy songwriting has captured the nation’s subconscious.

 

But can the debut album cement his position as the UK’s favourite new artist, or will it ensure that he’s simply a flash in the pan – a novelty destined to go the way of The Darkness?

In truth, the jury remains out. Life In Cartoon Motion is a giddy, goofy and hopelessly guilty pleasure. It’s a pop confection that embraces the glam-rock of Scissor Sisters, the debonair of Freddie Mercury, the pop savvy of Robbie Williams and Wham! and the balladry of Elton John.

 

And it will get on your nerves as much as it impresses. But many of its tracks are destined to become this year’s biggest party anthems – the type of which will keep revellers bopping around the dancefloor keen to make as big an idiot of themselves as possible.

 

So, for now, the joke’s on us…

 

But how else can you take to a track like Lollipop, a hideously contagious childlike romp that puts a youthful sheen on the finger-clicking rhythms of Gwen Stefani and transforms them into a hopelessly catchy favourite.

 

The soul-heavy falsetto chorus of “sucking too hard on your lollipop… oh loves gonna get you down” is cheeky, tacky but downright infectious. But just when you think it can’t get any more sickly, a young girl’s vocals kick in to lend it a Sesame Street vibe.

 

My Interpretation begins like an awkward merger of Robbie Williams and the Scissor Sisters, before eventually unfolding into a generally pleasing mid-tempo ballad that’s constructed around some disarming piano melodies.

 

And there’s more bouncing to be done during Love Today, a disco romp that soundchecks The Bee Gees and the Scissor Sisters in hopelessly kitsch fashion.

 

Relax, Take It Easy cheekily flirts with Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s seminal hit, before layering on the disco-glam for one of the most camp tracks on the album, while Any Other World mixes some atmospheric verses with a strings-laden chorus that’s ripped straight out of Beatles’ Sgt Pepper territory.

 

The latter is actually one of the standout tracks and one where Mika can be taken a little more seriously (even though it could have done without another children’s choir!).

 

The Beatles are also sound-checked on Billy Brown, a song that desperately wants to mug Penny Lane and The Carpenters, while Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls is the target for some fun on Big Girl (You Are Beautiful), a shameless rip-off that does at least have the good grace to poke fun at the size zero culture and celebrate the fuller figure.

 

For all of its camp, however, there are some serious undertones, as Mika’s lyrics combine daytime melodramas with night-time tales of loss, abandonment, hope and happiness – not to mention potshots at the record industy.

 

The singer-songwriting has cleverly moulded a debut album that’s rife with pop culture references, past and present, and big showman values.

 

For now, then, Mika emerges triumphant. It remains to be seen how long he’ll last before the bubble bursts.

 

http://www.indielondon.co.uk/Music-Review/mika-life-in-cartoon-motion

Edited by mari62

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Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion

Review Date: 29 January 2007

 

Meet Mika. He's a 23 year old Beirut-born, former Parisian/Londoner who is now based in New York, and he is, apparently, the latest 'pop sensation' to hit the airwaves. If that phrase sounds eerily familiar, it's because it probably is: Daniel Bedingfield, anyone? Craig David? Aha, but, the difference with Mika, y'see, is that neither of the aforementioned 'artistes' have been touted as the 'New Freddie Mercury'. A mountainous comparison to lay on any young soul's shoulders, perhaps; but it's easy to see where the connection lies. Not only does Mika possess the same soaring, operatic vocals as the former Queen frontman, he's got a canny way with a pop song to boot. See the flouncy, pompous funk of Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - all snappy beats, silly lyrics and sizzling melodies - or the dramatic-yet-infinitely-hummable Billy Brown, replete with happy-go-lucky harmonies that carry a tale of a confused bisexual man. Besides, who can't have heard the ubiquitous huge single Grace Kelly, a glossy compound of Queen pomposity and George Michael funk? Aside from the musical whimsy on offer, there's a more serious (i.e. crap) side to Life in Cartoon Motion, too; My Interpretation and Any Other World are both crap cheesy piano ballads, the latter even roping in a children's choir, while Happy Ending is a truly awful dirge of a duet, this time, employing the service of a gospel collective. Relax (Take It Easy), however, is a genuinely funky, Erasure-referencing 80s dance anthem, with production slicker than Scissor Sisters on an oil rig, and epitomises the lithe, fun side of the youngster's canon. While most tracks here have the potential to become the equivalent to The Birdy Song in fifty years time - not to mention being firmly aimed at the girly/gay sector of the music-buying public - even the most stony-faced cynic would be hard-pressed to admit that they're just too damned catchy to ignore. Extra cheese with that order, please.

 


Review by Lauren Murphy

 

http://entertainment.ie/album-review/album/4837.htm

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MIKA - LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION

Mika

(Casablanca)

 

Pan-global dandy delves into the ’70s, results mixed

 

Another ready-made 1970s-style ‘guilty pleasure’ to join Scissor Sisters and The Feeling on the Radio 2 playlists and the supermarket racks, Mika (pronounced ‘Mee-ka’) is a Lebanese-born, Paris-raised dandy who seems to have found a portal into Trident Studios, circa 1973.

 

His elegant songcraft often recalls Freddie Mercury, particularly the “Killer Queen”-ish chamber pop of “Billy Brown”, “Grace Kelly” and “Stuck In The Middle”. Less successful are the attempts at disco, particularly “Big Girl” (his anthem to the larger lady) or the hi-NRG stomper “Relax, Take It Easy” (an unfortunate ringer for Cutting Crew’s “Died In Your Arms”). And his occasional classical pastiches and between-song skits quickly irritate.

 

JOHN LEWIS

http://www.uncut.co.uk/music/mika/reviews/9330

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Posted (edited)

This is a nice one :D

 

Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion (Island)

UK release date: 5 February 2007

 

A few years ago, you'd probably be able to get pretty long odds on the possibility of the biggest pop star of the year being a Beirut-born Londoner, with Leo Sayer's hair and a bunch of songs hugely influenced by 70s disco and soft-rock. Throw in a remarkable vocal similarity to Freddie Mercury, and the bookies would be lapping up your cash.

 

Yet that's exactly what's happened to Mika - winner of the prestigious BBC 'Sound of 2007' poll and widely tipped as the hottest new pop star of the year. The emergence of the Scissor Sisters over the last few years has undoubtedly paved the way for him, and the recent success of The Feeling proved that there's a huge market for 70s influenced soft-rock.

 

One listen to Life In Cartoon Motion confirms that you won't be able to escape Mika this year. Each track is unashamedly commercial, blessed with hook-filled choruses that stick in the mind for weeks. You'll have already heard Grace Kelly, the Scissor Sisters channelling Queen hit single which has taken up permanent residence at a radio station near you.

 

Grace Kelly is pretty representative of what Mika's all about in fact. Beneath the bubblegum pop surface lies some dark lyrics - "Should I bend over?/ Should I look older, just to be put on the shelf?" - apparently directed at record company staff who had turned down his previous material. It's big, joyous, dumb pop, and the only danger with it is that you'll be utterly sick of it by March - when it'll still be being played.

 

Mika's voice may also prove to be a bit annoying to some. He has an unfeasibly high falsetto, which works on the Pet Shop Boys-like electro pop of Relax Take It Easy, but proves to be infuriating on Love Today. In fact by the time Stuck In The Middle rolls round, you're increasingly concerned about the tightness of Mika's underwear.

 

Another problem with the album is that it relies rather too heavily on the big, brash pop songs. Sometimes, as on Grace Kelly, it's fine. Other times, such as the screamingly camp Lollipop, with it's cheerleader-style chorus and child vocals, you want to smash the stereo in with a sledgehammer. Similarly, Big Girls (You Are Beautiful), an ode to the delights of the larger lady, wraps up its laudable message inside a tune that grates in the worst possible way.

 

Yet when Mika tries something a bit different, it sounds great. Billy Brown is a Beatle-esque number about a man leaving his wife and family for another man - it's both witty and poignant. Possibly the highlight of the album is the dramatic ballad Any Other World, which starts off like a Michael Nyman piano rendition, before building up a string section quite beautifully. If this had been given to Robbie Williams, it could have revitalized his career instantly.

 

The final track, Happy Endings, also sees a wonderful vocal performance from Mika, sounding eerily like early Michael Jackson at one point, and working extraordinarily well with his backing vocals. It's the sort of song you can imagine playing over the final scene of an 'emotional' drama on TV - in fact, if it does, expect it to be downloaded straight to number one.

Whether you enjoy Life In Cartoon Motion rather depends on what sort of mood you're in when you listen to it. At times, it's so relentlessly bouncy and upbeat that you feel like mowing down an entire shopping centre with an AK-47. Yet there's enough promise here to confirm that the hype about Mika is pretty much on the money. Expect him to be around for a lot longer than the next 12 months.

- John Murphy

 

http://www.musicomh.com/albums/mika_0107.htm

Edited by mari62

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Album: Mika

Life in Cartoon Motion, CASABLANCA

Reviewed by Andy Gill

Friday, 2 February 2007

 

With "Grace Kelly" atop the singles charts, Mika offers the strongest British contender yet in the Guilty Pleasures arena of 1970s revivalism thus far dominated by the Scissor Sisters. Born in the Lebanon, but brought up in Europe, Mika has the exotic, multi-national background of his hero Freddie Mercury, not to mention the operatic interests (as a boy he sang in the chorus of a Royal Opera House production of a Strauss opera), and the fascination with cheesy kitsch that laps around this debut album, swamping any serious ambitions. It's one thing emulating Freddie on "Grace Kelly", but another thing entirely to add a ludicrous Dixieland jazz-band to a silly pop trifle like "Lollipop": novelty imposes a short shelf-life on any artwork, and this is a more fragile example than most. The Jimmy Somerville stylings of disco-fodder like "Love Today" and "Relax (Take It Easy)" are just as dated, but the most questionable track here is the patronising "Big Girl", a back-handed "appreciation" of the larger lady complete with offensive lines like "Walks into the room/Feels like a big balloon".

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/album-mika-434655.html

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Mika: Life In Cartoon Motion

Type: Album

Release date: 05/02/2007

Artist: Casablanca

 

by Gareth Dobson

 

When you look like a diseased Leo Sayer, life is hard enough. You don’t need to release an LP stacked to the rafters with such benign saccharine filth that your coyote-ish features become a welcome distraction.

 

Sorry, where were we? Etiquette, protocol. Right, from the top… Life In Cartoon Motion is the long-playing debut from current chart-topper Mika. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that his hit single ‘Grace Kelly’ is the most chart-friendly track on the LP. You will be dismayed at the news that it is also the best.

 

Life In Cartoon Motion_ is a smug, opportunist amalgam of the vices and non-virtues of Robbie Williams, Scissor Sisters and vaudeville-era Queen. Unfortunately for Mika, it carries none of the charm or charisma of said pop behemoths. Instead, it is a bland yet infuriating set of garish pop tracks, the worst being the helium-in-a-playground rap-travesty that is ‘Lollipop’.

 

The worse aspect is when Mika attempts to inject humour into his songs. The best he can manage is stories about fat girls – the Queen-nuzzling ‘Big Girl (you are beautiful)’ and men who - hey - turn out to be gay (‘Billy Brown’). Or at least, you hope it’s humour…

 

It’s enough to make you vault from a fifteenth-storey building carrying as many of the records with you as possible. Pity the poor writer who has had to listen to this record more than once to achieve ‘objective consideration’.

 

Of course, there can be no such thing when a record like Life In Cartoon Motion comes around. Filled as it is with schmaltzy ballads (‘Any Other World’), kitchen-sink gloop production and half-baked disco ‘stompers’ (‘Love Today’), there can only be a sense of shame.

 

Shame on the person who made this. Shame on the people who release, market and play this. And shame on anyone who buys it.

 

That’ll be millions of ‘em, then.

 

• Mika

 

http://drownedinsound.com/releases/9109/reviews/1555744

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Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion

Review Date: 29 January 2007

 

Meet Mika. He's a 23 year old Beirut-born, former Parisian/Londoner who is now based in New York, and he is, apparently, the latest 'pop sensation' to hit the airwaves. If that phrase sounds eerily familiar, it's because it probably is: Daniel Bedingfield, anyone? Craig David? Aha, but, the difference with Mika, y'see, is that neither of the aforementioned 'artistes' have been touted as the 'New Freddie Mercury'. A mountainous comparison to lay on any young soul's shoulders, perhaps; but it's easy to see where the connection lies. Not only does Mika possess the same soaring, operatic vocals as the former Queen frontman, he's got a canny way with a pop song to boot. See the flouncy, pompous funk of Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - all snappy beats, silly lyrics and sizzling melodies - or the dramatic-yet-infinitely-hummable Billy Brown, replete with happy-go-lucky harmonies that carry a tale of a confused bisexual man. Besides, who can't have heard the ubiquitous huge single Grace Kelly, a glossy compound of Queen pomposity and George Michael funk? Aside from the musical whimsy on offer, there's a more serious (i.e. crap) side to Life in Cartoon Motion, too; My Interpretation and Any Other World are both crap cheesy piano ballads, the latter even roping in a children's choir, while Happy Ending is a truly awful dirge of a duet, this time, employing the service of a gospel collective. Relax (Take It Easy), however, is a genuinely funky, Erasure-referencing 80s dance anthem, with production slicker than Scissor Sisters on an oil rig, and epitomises the lithe, fun side of the youngster's canon. While most tracks here have the potential to become the equivalent to The Birdy Song in fifty years time - not to mention being firmly aimed at the girly/gay sector of the music-buying public - even the most stony-faced cynic would be hard-pressed to admit that they're just too damned catchy to ignore. Extra cheese with that order, please.

 


Review by Lauren Murphy

 

http://entertainment.ie/album-review/album/4837.htm

 

 

Well, that info escaped us! :blink::roftl:

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Well, that info escaped us! :blink::roftl:

thank goodness he told us! :roftl:

 

2 years ago at the Sanremo Festival the girl who introduced Mika said he was 20 years old and that he lived in Paris :roftl:

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I've got a few articles too...

 

Music Review | Mika

A Rising British Pop Star Revives a Mercurial Style

 

By JON PARELES

Published: March 31, 2007

Clowns handed out balloons and the sound system played perky Top 10 hits before Mika took the stage at the Gramercy Theater on Thursday night. Mika, whose song “Grace Kelly” was a No. 1 hit in Britain and is currently No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100, was branding his music as pure pop fun, and he wasn’t kidding. With a big smile on his face and in his voice, and with bright, bouncy, catchy tunes, Mika isn’t flaunting any angst.

 

Born in Lebanon but raised in Paris and London, Mika (whose real name is Michael Holbrook Penniman) looks like a pop star: skinny, strong-featured and impeccably tousle-haired even after he’s been strutting across the stage. His voice is startlingly similar to that of Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead singer, from breathy baritone to swooping tenor to piercing falsetto.

 

Mika has cultivated Mr. Mercury’s mixture of hard-sell vocal gymnastics and arch, campy amusement. He has also latched on to one part of Queen’s sound — a brisk boom-chunk beat topped by scrubbing guitar chords or mock-classical piano — and coupled it with the power-chorded pop of 1970s British bands like Sweet. In songs from his album “Life in Cartoon Motion” (Casablanca/Universal), the hooks are clear and conspicuous, and behind them is a cheerful gleam of calculation. “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” proclaims just that; “Ring Ring” complains, with self-satisfaction, about someone who keeps calling and hanging up.

 

For a polymorphous fillip, Mika has “Billy Brown,” about a married man who falls in love with a man. He also sang a new song, “Holy Johnny,” about a friend who “once was a whore” but joined the priesthood after his heart was broken. Neither is exactly controversial.

 

Most of the time Mika stuck to songs about love, describing breakups while the music grinned through them. “Love’s gonna let you down,” went the chorus in “Lollipop,” but it happily bounded ahead, pure bubblegum down to its candy title; for a live bit of naughtiness, Mika changed “bore” to “whore” in the lyrics.

 

Mika’s songs promised that he was eager to please. “I could be wholesome/I could be loathsome,” he sang in “Grace Kelly,” and he offered half a dozen other options. In “Everybody’s Gotta Love,” a song about breaking out of depression, he insisted, “Anyway you’ve got to love, love me.”

 

That’s a little premature. At the moment, Mika shows off his pop skills with a determined superficiality. His heartbroken ballad “Over My Shoulder” was more a falsetto showcase than a lament. If he figures out how to show some heart amid his pop frolics, he could turn out to be more than the sum of his hooks.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/arts/music/31mika.html?_r=1

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This one is really great and very positive, unlike to the 1st one I posted..

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This review of Mika’s début album, Life In Cartoon Motion has been submitted by our forum veteran and vocal expert, Maureen Lesley Teasdale.

 

WHAT POP HAS BEEN WAITING FOR IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS HAS FINALLY ARRIVED.

 

MIKA. LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION.

 

Hello and pardon me for daring to bring you the good news.

 

Talent in Britain is not dead, creativity has not ended.

 

Talent is out in the wider world from our television screens and reality TV. Life is indeed colourful.

 

Several months ago I heard this young man Mika through the wonders of the internet and thought at the time he was very raw, sounded a bit weird and off the wall. I also thought that what I heard was lacking in quality. Don’t get me wrong I often feel this way towards up and coming artists especially when they have not long been out of college and had no time to work a circuit to learn the craft and skills essential to performing in front of a live audience. I have also thought this about reality TV contestants, not that Mika would have ever gone this route with his music as it would not have passed the judges, I think it would be fair to say Mika would have freaked them out. Who is this guy who gives us snippets of tunes all mixed up and in five different voicings?.Hey is he for real? So sadly he would have been shelved, as all of the music on this new release is entirely composed and technologically drafted by Mika and friends.

 

So why indeed should I write about this young man and not some successful reality TV singer, or some failing fading reality TV singer having engaged in a successful run for stardom, or some reality TV programme reject who feels they were not given a fair chance, and therefore the world must now end?

 

The answer to this is simple. There are other routes to making it. I do seem to remember saying somewhere that it was one of the Gallagher brothers who’d confessed that when they had little they hired a recording studio at night because it was cheaper and that they couldn’t afford to during the day. When I speak here of making it, I mean making it beyond your region, and making it beyond the confines or restrictions of reality TV. I suppose you could say the only justifiable criticism of reality TV is that it does not encourage creativity. It is also the only criticism I would accept, as I will always feel positive that for the lucky few who have no idea of how to plan for a musical future it is a good thing. An aggravation to struggling artists who have studied for years, become consumers,subscribed and do have plans but even here it is now beginning to appear as common sense and a big money saver, that hey if a production television company wants to spend money on exposing some talent than it could just be us. You go for it. But be open minded the road is not easy and is not paved with gold. You should also try not to get caught up in a time warp, move with the times. Stand still and life and whatever it has to offer you, will pass you by.

 

Viewers instead are all assumed to be interested in nothing else other than covers or easy listening or musical numbers and the producers have forgotten that some of us might be interested in new music all together. So if new music is your thing than MIKA is a fine example of someone who with effort, talent and shrewdness is your man.

 

We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day and I suppose it may be a year before this guy has a name internationally, but rest assured it is coming. MIKA in my view will be bigger than Leona Lewis because he has a genius towards writing his own music and not just performing and recording.

 

This first CD ‘LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION’ looks from the cover style to be a Pastiche on all those things that we recognise as being good about pop music of the past a good twenty years or so ago. It is also what I’d call psychodelic, very Sgt Pepper, colourful, and reflective of great artists. He reminds me in some ways of the genius of Freddie Mercury but hyperventilated by Harry Neilson who was much under rated in his day, a touch of the Leo Sayer, and the inventiveness of Cat Stevens and another Neil (*******) evades me for the time being but not a Neil Diamond, but more a knight in shining armour and the archer who splits the tree. Yet this disc of music is full of unusal sounds, it is entirely modern, a driving beat applicable to the sound of the street today, voices with soul and life, that is ultra modern and invokes at times say Robbie Williams in reflective mode, sometimes songs for one to nod to, dance to, clap your hands to, join in with, maybe laugh with, sing with and annoy the neighbours especially if they are squares. Or those who have nothing good to say about modern music at all ever.

 

You know I remember performing two jazz pieces in front of my peers and the comment I recieved from the squares and stalwarts is that, ‘how dare you subject us to this dirty music’, I can laugh at this now which is just as well, I suppose Nigel Kennedy the violinist who had some stalwarts in his audience walk out once because of the Jazz he played may have felt the same. So again Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if it weren’t for talented people taking chances there music might never have been heard. So remember don’t ever give up keep on trying. Don’t let life get you down.

 

So last night and this morning the raving banshee danced round the kitchen floor went bopping along outside to deal with the essential tasks of my day and I have a bounce in my step, when was the last time that happened for you.

 

If it is not to crazy to suggest that maybe you need this disc in your life that you should go out and buy it. Listen to the tracks and enjoy. Smell the flowers and in the words of MIKA ‘ Relax and take it easy.’

 

Overall rating on this disc, brilliant, fascinating, don’t buy it and its your loss. 110 out of a 100.

 

Do I like it? Silly question. YES.

 

Disc reveiwed: LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION.

Disc artist: MIKA.

Label: UNIVERSAL RECORDS.

Release: April/May 2007.

 

Track titles..

 

Grace Kelly

Lollipop

My Interpretation

Love Today

Relax (Take it Easy)

Any Other World

Billy Brown

Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)

Stuck In The Middle

Happy Ending

Ring Ring.

 

 

 

The link --> http://music.unrealitytv.co.uk/mika-life-in-cartoon-motion-album-review

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And this one is great as well :D but it has a few material mistakes at the beginning -- Mika's was not born to both American parents and his father is hardly a "millionaire businessman" :naughty:

 

Anyway:

 

 

Life > September 13, 2007

 

Original sounds, deep lyrics make a wonderful Life

By Kristen Guth | Staff writer

 

Mika duly encapsulates a youthful, energetic vibe and a sedated maturity in his premiere album, Life in Cartoon Motion, with a sound that borrows from jazz, rock, pop and classical.

 

 

The artist’s catchy beats and insinuating lyrics went platinum twice in the UK shortly after the album was released in February 2007.

 

Mika also earned a position on Europe’s Top 100 chart-toppers with six songs released as singles.

 

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, to American parents, Mika has an interesting past over international territory to draw from for his music.

 

He spent a brief time living in Paris to escape ongoing warfare in Lebanon.

 

His father, a millionaire businessman, was captured as a hostage in Kuwait, and after his subsequent release, Mika’s family finally settled down in London.

 

Formal British education in neither the sciences nor the humanities struck Mika’s interest quite as soundly as music caught his ear.

 

After years of musical training, Mika started his career singing as a boy soprano with a five-octave range in the Royal Opera House at age 15.

 

In recent interviews, reporters have commented on Mika’s fun personality, marked by eccentricities and oddball characteristics.

 

Despite his flamboyant performance style, he remains coy about his sexuality – but that hasn’t stopped the gay press from claiming him as one of their own.

 

Life in Cartoon Motion offers a blend of genre styles, with a vocal concentration on Mika’s pure tone and falsetto reach.

 

His creative approach to pop music has led him to infuse bits of conversation, movie scenes and everyday sounds, such as dishes clanking or slurping of a drink, into songs throughout the album.

 

The use of media clips and stage sounds allude to his strong interest in theater and his past stage presence, often as a starring role, in school musicals.

 

The ultimate manifestation of Mika’s throwback to school days is found in “Lollipop,” which evokes the thought of a school choral group as the song evolves spontaneously from children singing backup vocals and clapping, and the sound of basic piano chords.

 

Mika’s lyrics, however, are anything but elementary as he describes an edginess to love: “Take a look at the girl next door / she’s a player and a downright whore / Jesus slows up, she wants more / oh bad girls get you down.”

 

The fun beats and innocence of the children’s voices hide the darker undertone of Mika’s sentiments. The positive beats on Mika’s album have resonated widely with the listening audience.

 

Radio stations across the US aired his song “Grace Kelly” for a brief period during summer 2007, and even big business couldn’t avoid Mika’s seductive nature.

 

Verizon chose to use “Love Today” on an advertisement for the Chocolate phone model.

 

The interlude to “Grace Kelly” is composed of clips from the actress’s movies, and the song’s melody wanders over Mika’s impressive vocal range, juxtaposing a hushed, excited mood with an explosive and colorful sound.

 

Strong, repetitive beats with acoustic guitar and sexual innuendo make “Love Today” the liveliest on the album.

 

Mika chooses interesting subjects for songs. The track “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” encourages exactly what its title implies, while “Billy Brown” plays out as a ballad without resolution.

 

Billy Brown, a “victim of the times,” abandons his ordinary life with a nuclear family in pursuit of romantic happiness, but remains unsure of whether his desires lie with men, women or both.

 

These songs are fantastical with choir and piano and emanate a sense of Broadway showiness.

 

Powerful, slower songs on the topics of regret or broken love include “Any Other World,” “Erase” and “Happy Ending.”

 

These melodies make use of longer sustained notes, and culminate with a layering of choral backup, orchestral quartet parts, piano and power chords on electric guitar.

 

Solo piano and solo singing illuminate the fragility of Mika’s tone, and the repetition of themes allow his messages to be fully absorbed.

 

Major chords in “Erase” evoke a finality that fights with the unresolved emotional tension created by the lyrics, emphasizing the singer’s own struggle with the end of a relationship.

 

Mika ponders the vulnerabilities of romance as he espouses, “This the way that we love / like it’s forever / then live the rest of our lives / but not together / This is the way you left me / I’m not pretending.”

 

The hidden track, “Over My Shoulder,” stands out as the most disturbing and stripped song of the whole album to emulate loneliness with a simple duet and a cautious piano melody.

 

Mika’s ascent into international stardom at age 24 seems premature for a healthy career, but his artistic ingenuity and classical training provide a fortified foundation for future hits.

 

 

The link --> http://www.oldgoldandblack.com/l_article/original_sounds_deep_lyrics_make_a_wonderful_life/

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Thanks for posting Keti!

 

I've got a few articles too...

 

Music Review | Mika

A Rising British Pop Star Revives a Mercurial Style

 

By JON PARELES

Published: March 31, 2007

Clowns handed out balloons and the sound system played perky Top 10 hits before Mika took the stage at the Gramercy Theater on Thursday night. Mika, whose song “Grace Kelly” was a No. 1 hit in Britain and is currently No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100, was branding his music as pure pop fun, and he wasn’t kidding. With a big smile on his face and in his voice, and with bright, bouncy, catchy tunes, Mika isn’t flaunting any angst.

 

Born in Lebanon but raised in Paris and London, Mika (whose real name is Michael Holbrook Penniman) looks like a pop star: skinny, strong-featured and impeccably tousle-haired even after he’s been strutting across the stage. His voice is startlingly similar to that of Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead singer, from breathy baritone to swooping tenor to piercing falsetto.

 

Mika has cultivated Mr. Mercury’s mixture of hard-sell vocal gymnastics and arch, campy amusement. He has also latched on to one part of Queen’s sound — a brisk boom-chunk beat topped by scrubbing guitar chords or mock-classical piano — and coupled it with the power-chorded pop of 1970s British bands like Sweet. In songs from his album “Life in Cartoon Motion” (Casablanca/Universal), the hooks are clear and conspicuous, and behind them is a cheerful gleam of calculation. “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” proclaims just that; “Ring Ring” complains, with self-satisfaction, about someone who keeps calling and hanging up.

 

For a polymorphous fillip, Mika has “Billy Brown,” about a married man who falls in love with a man. He also sang a new song, “Holy Johnny,” about a friend who “once was a whore” but joined the priesthood after his heart was broken. Neither is exactly controversial.

 

Most of the time Mika stuck to songs about love, describing breakups while the music grinned through them. “Love’s gonna let you down,” went the chorus in “Lollipop,” but it happily bounded ahead, pure bubblegum down to its candy title; for a live bit of naughtiness, Mika changed “bore” to “whore” in the lyrics.

 

Mika’s songs promised that he was eager to please. “I could be wholesome/I could be loathsome,” he sang in “Grace Kelly,” and he offered half a dozen other options. In “Everybody’s Gotta Love,” a song about breaking out of depression, he insisted, “Anyway you’ve got to love, love me.”

 

That’s a little premature. At the moment, Mika shows off his pop skills with a determined superficiality. His heartbroken ballad “Over My Shoulder” was more a falsetto showcase than a lament. If he figures out how to show some heart amid his pop frolics, he could turn out to be more than the sum of his hooks.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/31/arts/music/31mika.html?_r=1

Do usually pop stars look skinny, strong-featured and impeccably tousle-haired ?? :naughty:

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Thanks for posting Keti!

 

Do usually pop stars look skinny, strong-featured and impeccably tousle-haired ?? :naughty:

 

You're welcome Mari!! :biggrin2:

 

 

That guy needs to get some grip,I know :naughty:

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This one is really great and very positive, unlike to the 1st one I posted..

----------

 

 

This review of Mika’s début album, Life In Cartoon Motion has been submitted by our forum veteran and vocal expert, Maureen Lesley Teasdale.

 

WHAT POP HAS BEEN WAITING FOR IN THE LAST TWENTY YEARS HAS FINALLY ARRIVED.

 

MIKA. LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION.

 

Hello and pardon me for daring to bring you the good news.

 

Talent in Britain is not dead, creativity has not ended.

Talent is out in the wider world from our television screens and reality TV. Life is indeed colourful.

 

Several months ago I heard this young man Mika through the wonders of the internet and thought at the time he was very raw, sounded a bit weird and off the wall. I also thought that what I heard was lacking in quality. Don’t get me wrong I often feel this way towards up and coming artists especially when they have not long been out of college and had no time to work a circuit to learn the craft and skills essential to performing in front of a live audience. I have also thought this about reality TV contestants, not that Mika would have ever gone this route with his music as it would not have passed the judges, I think it would be fair to say Mika would have freaked them out. Who is this guy who gives us snippets of tunes all mixed up and in five different voicings?.Hey is he for real? So sadly he would have been shelved, as all of the music on this new release is entirely composed and technologically drafted by Mika and friends.

 

So why indeed should I write about this young man and not some successful reality TV singer, or some failing fading reality TV singer having engaged in a successful run for stardom, or some reality TV programme reject who feels they were not given a fair chance, and therefore the world must now end?

 

The answer to this is simple. There are other routes to making it. I do seem to remember saying somewhere that it was one of the Gallagher brothers who’d confessed that when they had little they hired a recording studio at night because it was cheaper and that they couldn’t afford to during the day. When I speak here of making it, I mean making it beyond your region, and making it beyond the confines or restrictions of reality TV. I suppose you could say the only justifiable criticism of reality TV is that it does not encourage creativity. It is also the only criticism I would accept, as I will always feel positive that for the lucky few who have no idea of how to plan for a musical future it is a good thing. An aggravation to struggling artists who have studied for years, become consumers,subscribed and do have plans but even here it is now beginning to appear as common sense and a big money saver, that hey if a production television company wants to spend money on exposing some talent than it could just be us. You go for it. But be open minded the road is not easy and is not paved with gold. You should also try not to get caught up in a time warp, move with the times. Stand still and life and whatever it has to offer you, will pass you by.

 

Viewers instead are all assumed to be interested in nothing else other than covers or easy listening or musical numbers and the producers have forgotten that some of us might be interested in new music all together. So if new music is your thing than MIKA is a fine example of someone who with effort, talent and shrewdness is your man.

 

We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day and I suppose it may be a year before this guy has a name internationally, but rest assured it is coming. MIKA in my view will be bigger than Leona Lewis because he has a genius towards writing his own music and not just performing and recording.

 

This first CD ‘LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION’ looks from the cover style to be a Pastiche on all those things that we recognise as being good about pop music of the past a good twenty years or so ago. It is also what I’d call psychodelic, very Sgt Pepper, colourful, and reflective of great artists. He reminds me in some ways of the genius of Freddie Mercury but hyperventilated by Harry Neilson who was much under rated in his day, a touch of the Leo Sayer, and the inventiveness of Cat Stevens and another Neil (*******) evades me for the time being but not a Neil Diamond, but more a knight in shining armour and the archer who splits the tree. Yet this disc of music is full of unusal sounds, it is entirely modern, a driving beat applicable to the sound of the street today, voices with soul and life, that is ultra modern and invokes at times say Robbie Williams in reflective mode, sometimes songs for one to nod to, dance to, clap your hands to, join in with, maybe laugh with, sing with and annoy the neighbours especially if they are squares. Or those who have nothing good to say about modern music at all ever.

 

You know I remember performing two jazz pieces in front of my peers and the comment I recieved from the squares and stalwarts is that, ‘how dare you subject us to this dirty music’, I can laugh at this now which is just as well, I suppose Nigel Kennedy the violinist who had some stalwarts in his audience walk out once because of the Jazz he played may have felt the same. So again Rome wasn’t built in a day, and if it weren’t for talented people taking chances there music might never have been heard. So remember don’t ever give up keep on trying. Don’t let life get you down.

 

So last night and this morning the raving banshee danced round the kitchen floor went bopping along outside to deal with the essential tasks of my day and I have a bounce in my step, when was the last time that happened for you.

 

If it is not to crazy to suggest that maybe you need this disc in your life that you should go out and buy it. Listen to the tracks and enjoy. Smell the flowers and in the words of MIKA ‘ Relax and take it easy.’

 

Overall rating on this disc, brilliant, fascinating, don’t buy it and its your loss. 110 out of a 100.

 

Do I like it? Silly question. YES.

 

Disc reveiwed: LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION.

Disc artist: MIKA.

Label: UNIVERSAL RECORDS.

Release: April/May 2007.

 

Track titles..

 

Grace Kelly

Lollipop

My Interpretation

Love Today

Relax (Take it Easy)

Any Other World

Billy Brown

Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)

Stuck In The Middle

Happy Ending

Ring Ring.

 

 

 

The link --> http://music.unrealitytv.co.uk/mika-life-in-cartoon-motion-album-review

This is a great article indeed! worth reading!

highlighted the bits I like most

 

Its true! Mika makes me sing, dance, move, think, laugh, smile, cry ....in a word he makes me feel alive! :wub2:

Don't buy and its yr loss!

Great Gerard McGarry! :thumb_yello:http://music.unrealitytv.co.uk/gerard-mcgarry/

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This is a great article indeed! worth reading!

highlighted the bits I like most

 

Its true! Mika makes me sing, dance, move, think, laugh, smile, cry ....in a word he makes me feel alive! :wub2:

Don't buy and its yr loss!

Great Gerard McGarry! :thumb_yello:http://music.unrealitytv.co.uk/gerard-mcgarry/

 

I agree,this is one of the best LiCM reviews I've ever read! Absolutely amazing. :thumb_yello:

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This is a great article indeed! worth reading!

highlighted the bits I like most

 

Its true! Mika makes me sing, dance, move, think, laugh, smile, cry ....in a word he makes me feel alive! :wub2:

Don't buy and its yr loss!

Great Gerard McGarry! :thumb_yello:http://music.unrealitytv.co.uk/gerard-mcgarry/

 

yes it's a brilliant review:wub2: the bits you highlighted are my faves as well!

"dont buy and it's your loss" gerald mcgarry is so right!

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The interlude to “Grace Kelly” is composed of clips from the actress’s movies, and the song’s melody wanders over Mika’s impressive vocal range, juxtaposing a hushed, excited mood with an explosive and colorful sound.

 

Strong, repetitive beats with acoustic guitar and sexual innuendo make “Love Today” the liveliest on the album.

 

Mika chooses interesting subjects for songs. The track “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” encourages exactly what its title implies, while “Billy Brown” plays out as a ballad without resolution.

 

Billy Brown, a “victim of the times,” abandons his ordinary life with a nuclear family in pursuit of romantic happiness, but remains unsure of whether his desires lie with men, women or both.

 

These songs are fantastical with choir and piano and emanate a sense of Broadway showiness.

 

Powerful, slower songs on the topics of regret or broken love include “Any Other World,” “Erase” and “Happy Ending.”

 

These melodies make use of longer sustained notes, and culminate with a layering of choral backup, orchestral quartet parts, piano and power chords on electric guitar.

 

Solo piano and solo singing illuminate the fragility of Mika’s tone, and the repetition of themes allow his messages to be fully absorbed.

 

Major chords in “Erase” evoke a finality that fights with the unresolved emotional tension created by the lyrics, emphasizing the singer’s own struggle with the end of a relationship.

 

Mika ponders the vulnerabilities of romance as he espouses, “This the way that we love / like it’s forever / then live the rest of our lives / but not together / This is the way you left me / I’m not pretending.”

 

The hidden track, “Over My Shoulder,” stands out as the most disturbing and stripped song of the whole album to emulate loneliness with a simple duet and a cautious piano melody.

 

Mika’s ascent into international stardom at age 24 seems premature for a healthy career, but his artistic ingenuity and classical training provide a fortified foundation for future hits.

 

 

The link --> http://www.oldgoldandblack.com/l_article/original_sounds_deep_lyrics_make_a_wonderful_life/

 

thanks for posting keti:thumb_yello:

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And this one is great as well :D but it has a few material mistakes at the beginning -- Mika's was not born to both American parents and his father is hardly a "millionaire businessman" :naughty:

 

Anyway:

 

 

Life > September 13, 2007

 

Original sounds, deep lyrics make a wonderful Life

By Kristen Guth | Staff writer

 

Mika duly encapsulates a youthful, energetic vibe and a sedated maturity in his premiere album, Life in Cartoon Motion, with a sound that borrows from jazz, rock, pop and classical.

 

The artist’s catchy beats and insinuating lyrics went platinum twice in the UK shortly after the album was released in February 2007.

 

Mika also earned a position on Europe’s Top 100 chart-toppers with six songs released as singles.

 

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, to American parents, Mika has an interesting past over international territory to draw from for his music.

 

He spent a brief time living in Paris to escape ongoing warfare in Lebanon.

 

His father, a millionaire businessman, was captured as a hostage in Kuwait, and after his subsequent release, Mika’s family finally settled down in London.

 

Formal British education in neither the sciences nor the humanities struck Mika’s interest quite as soundly as music caught his ear.

 

After years of musical training, Mika started his career singing as a boy soprano with a five-octave range in the Royal Opera House at age 15.

 

In recent interviews, reporters have commented on Mika’s fun personality, marked by eccentricities and oddball characteristics.

 

Despite his flamboyant performance style, he remains coy about his sexuality – but that hasn’t stopped the gay press from claiming him as one of their own.

 

Life in Cartoon Motion offers a blend of genre styles, with a vocal concentration on Mika’s pure tone and falsetto reach.

 

His creative approach to pop music has led him to infuse bits of conversation, movie scenes and everyday sounds, such as dishes clanking or slurping of a drink, into songs throughout the album.

 

The use of media clips and stage sounds allude to his strong interest in theater and his past stage presence, often as a starring role, in school musicals.

 

The ultimate manifestation of Mika’s throwback to school days is found in “Lollipop,” which evokes the thought of a school choral group as the song evolves spontaneously from children singing backup vocals and clapping, and the sound of basic piano chords.

 

Mika’s lyrics, however, are anything but elementary as he describes an edginess to love: “Take a look at the girl next door / she’s a player and a downright whore / Jesus slows up, she wants more / oh bad girls get you down.”

 

The fun beats and innocence of the children’s voices hide the darker undertone of Mika’s sentiments. The positive beats on Mika’s album have resonated widely with the listening audience.

 

Radio stations across the US aired his song “Grace Kelly” for a brief period during summer 2007, and even big business couldn’t avoid Mika’s seductive nature.

 

Verizon chose to use “Love Today” on an advertisement for the Chocolate phone model.

 

The interlude to “Grace Kelly” is composed of clips from the actress’s movies, and the song’s melody wanders over Mika’s impressive vocal range, juxtaposing a hushed, excited mood with an explosive and colorful sound.

 

Strong, repetitive beats with acoustic guitar and sexual innuendo make “Love Today” the liveliest on the album.

 

Mika chooses interesting subjects for songs. The track “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” encourages exactly what its title implies, while “Billy Brown” plays out as a ballad without resolution.

 

Billy Brown, a “victim of the times,” abandons his ordinary life with a nuclear family in pursuit of romantic happiness, but remains unsure of whether his desires lie with men, women or both.

 

These songs are fantastical with choir and piano and emanate a sense of Broadway showiness.

 

Powerful, slower songs on the topics of regret or broken love include “Any Other World,” “Erase” and “Happy Ending.”

 

These melodies make use of longer sustained notes, and culminate with a layering of choral backup, orchestral quartet parts, piano and power chords on electric guitar.

 

Solo piano and solo singing illuminate the fragility of Mika’s tone, and the repetition of themes allow his messages to be fully absorbed.

 

Major chords in “Erase” evoke a finality that fights with the unresolved emotional tension created by the lyrics, emphasizing the singer’s own struggle with the end of a relationship.

 

Mika ponders the vulnerabilities of romance as he espouses, “This the way that we love / like it’s forever / then live the rest of our lives / but not together / This is the way you left me / I’m not pretending.”

 

The hidden track, “Over My Shoulder,” stands out as the most disturbing and stripped song of the whole album to emulate loneliness with a simple duet and a cautious piano melody.

 

Mika’s ascent into international stardom at age 24 seems premature for a healthy career, but his artistic ingenuity and classical training provide a fortified foundation for future hits.

 

 

The link --> http://www.oldgoldandblack.com/l_article/original_sounds_deep_lyrics_make_a_wonderful_life/

This is a nice and interesting interview as well!

 

What I'm wondering now is: where can we hear dishes clanking ??

 

And where can we see clips from GK's movies?? in the interlude??

:confused:

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This is a nice and interesting interview as well!

 

What I'm wondering now is: where can we hear dishes clanking ??

 

And where can we see clips from GK's movies?? in the interlude??

:confused:

 

We can hear the dishes clanking in the start of Big Girl! :thumb_yello:

 

And for this second, I don't know that either.. :boxed:

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Found a few more :biggrin2:

 

Music Review - Mika “Life In Cartoon Motion”

 

GRADE: A

 

Mika is that rare European pop star that brings new life into the genre. These days Americans need to have their hip-hop, R&B influences fused in with their pop music in order for it to chart. But once again, Euro pop saves the day. “Life In Cartoon Motion” is a special find, chock full of smart, adult bubblegum pop music. This collection of tunes is accessible to the youngest of pop followers, to the dance crazy adult in your life. They will all get a kick out of the bouncy disco inspired music Mika has created, without getting that sugary empty feeling after multiple listenings.

 

At the moment Mika has charted 3 top ten singles in the U.K. and abroad. His first single here in the USA is “Grace Kelly”, and it is the perfect example of the type of fun Mika has. His next single is even better, “Love Today” has an infectious hook and dance beat that will make you giddy. “Relax (Take It Easy) is Mika’s thrid single and my favorite tune on the c.d. His lightest confection is “Lollipop”, which is a true pop song if ever there was one. You can hear the many influences that are woven into Mika’s songs; a little bit of Queen, Elton John, The Scissor Sisters, Robbie Williams.

 

I am really impressed by this c.d. it has all the elements of a perfect pop album. Mika also has that ambiguously sexy look and style that is trend setting. He is a sex symbol to say the least. The title of this disc is perfect, “Life In Cartoon Motion”. The feelings that swell up inside you from listening to this album create a bubbly, child like quality in your mood. You can’t help but sing along to the quirky lyrics and just have fun. I recommend this disc to any pop music fan that is looking for that next big thing.

 

Link --> http://www.popculturebuzz.com/music-review-mika-life-in-cartoon-motion/

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CD Review - Mika's Life In Cartoon Motion

 

By Tom Patrick: 2007-03-30 20:04:57

 

 

 

 

Life In Cartoon Motion is the debut album of British singer Mika. Formally known as Mica Penniman, the singer and composer sounds like a cross between Freddie Mercury and George Michael. With an incredible range, reaching up into Alvin and the Chipmunks territory (seriously), Mika sensationalizes this jubilant album, making it strangely addictive.

The album presents a balanced mix of pop, pop-rock and pop-glam rock--it’s really poppy! Put simply, it’s like children’s music on acid … actually, since all the songs are good for dancing, perhaps it’s more like children’s music on ecstasy. Life In Cartoon Motion is undeniably catchy, and walks a fine line between brilliance and utter annoyance. Two thoughts kept colliding in my head: that sounds cool and that sounds weird.

 

The opening track "Grace Kelly," which is the current single, sets the mood for the album. Mika’s official Web site describes his music as combining "a heady euphoric rush with darker unexpected elements" and is a good way of describing songs like this one; within a few beats "Grace Kelly" swings from a goofy, juvenile romp to a sedated stroll through some thought-provoking emotions.

 

"My Interpretation" provides a breather after the energetic opening tunes and allows the listener to cozy up to Mika’s sweet piano sound. "Love Today," the following song, with the swishy wah-wah guitar and disco beat, would be great for a ‘70s porno flick. It provides a Jamiroquai-Bee Gees feel and has a very European sound to it.

 

"Relax. Take It Easy," Mika’s first single (a download release), is the type of tune you might hear in a club, but has enough intricacies and layers that a sophisticated musician wouldn’t necessarily feel like shooting himself after two minutes.

 

"Ring Ring" is a classic example of how Mika mixes prototypical sounds. It has an up-on-your-feet dance beat backing up a clever piano line--only it’s not the same enervated piano sound commonly found in pop music. Instead, it’s one you can picture coming out of a grand Steinway being played by Beethoven.

 

Frankly, his use of horns and strings--done in a classy way--is refreshing for someone like me who always marveled at the use of horns and strings on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. "Any Other World" and "Billy Brown" are good examples of this technique.

 

If you’re still on the fence close to the end, "Stuck In The Middle" is just the tune to win you over. With a frolicking piano line reminiscent of Elton John, Mika musically stomps through this punchy song and produces one of the best tunes on the album.

 

On his Web site, Mika explains his diverse sound saying that he "grew up listening to every thing from Joan Baez and Dylan, to Serge Gainsbourg and Flamenco." He goes on to say "Prince, Harry Nillson, Elton John, even Michael Jackson, these people make amazing pop records that couldn’t be performed by anybody else and that’s what I always wanted to do." Mika’s innovative yet familiar sound, along with his vocal range, suggests that he has accomplished just that.

 

 

Link --> http://www.cinemablend.com/music/CD-Review-Mika-s-Life-In-Cartoon-Motion-3549.html

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We can hear the dishes clanking in the start of Big Girl! :thumb_yello:

 

And for this second, I don't know that either.. :boxed:

 

Thanks Keti! didn't know they're dishes :D

And we can hear them all over the song :)

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