So this guy, Mika, has a new album? I am not a Mika fan. More like an un-fan. But I love good music. It's been part of my life since I can remember. I used to work for a radio station, and I have met some of the worlds biggest artists.
Now on to Mika's new CD. I remember the first one - my wife couldn't stop playing it. Some of the songs were okay. But it was a little too sugary for me.
I bought Mika's new album for my wife the other day. I still have scratch marks where she tore the album from my grasp before hurliing it into the CD player. It wouldn't work the first time. I suggested she remove the CD from the case first... After that the album started playing - she stopped breathing for a while, and she had a glazed look about her. But you long suffering husbands and boyfriends know what I'm talking about.
Anyhow, yesterday I had a chance to have a listen. Just for you techno heads out there, I have a studio quality sound system with ATC SCM50 ASL speakers with a Classe preamp and a CEC belt drive CD player, all connected via balanced cables. It's pretty much the same stuff that Mika would have used to mix his new album.
Firstly, I played the album in one go. Just to get an idea. First impressions were okay. The recording quality is good, the soundstaging wide and encompassing, and the mix was excellent. I thought the voice layering was good too and and the use of real instruments thrown in with the usual synthesised instruments was well executed. There was a fair bit of compression used in several tracks. But that's accepted practice. Without some compression, popular music and rock can lack punch and projection.
Soooo. What do I think? Hmmmm. I'm not sure about track 1 'We Are Golden'. Too sugary for me, but a good chart release. Things start getting better with track 2 'Blame it on the Girl'. In fact I punched the repeat button and gave my speakers some loudness. The bass drum kicked in and rattled my windows. Nice tune. Great chorus.. Excellent layering. Not bad. Not bad at all. Now where's that repeat button again? Track 3, 'Rain' is okay. My wife said she thought the chorus was a bit repetitive. But I don't think so. The song builds nicely and finished just right. A good effort there, Mika.
Moving on to Track 4, 'Dr John'. A bit too sugary and 'pop' for me. But an okay album track, Track 5, 'I See You' is quite a nice tune. Well written, good production. Some very substantial low frequencies kicking in on some of these tracks. In fact I felt my tummy shake in sympathy with the windows when I gave my system a tickle.
Now track 6, 'Blue Eyes'. Very punchy sound, excellent bass and a catchy tune. Mika is in a particularly fine voice for this one. The song builds nicely and I found myself looking for that repeat button and the volume control. Nice mix. I hit the repeat button a couple more times. Not bad at all. Maybe just one more listen before I move on...
Track 7 'Good Gone Girl and Track 8 'Touches You' are good album tracks, but Track 9 'By The Time' is very nice. I hit the repeat button a couple of times and on each listen the song got better. 'By The Time' could end up being another favourite. Track 10 'One Foot Boy' continues the good variety of music offered on this album. Track 11 'Toy Boy' offers something a little different, with Mika digging just a little deeper with his lyrics. Perhaps an indication that Mika's writing is a little more substantial than some would believe. The last Track 'Pick up off the Floor' finished the album off nicely.
Mika's new album is not a 'concept' album as such. But it seems to follow a theme reflecting some of the things that have happened to Mika as he has grown up. I think 'The Boy Who Knew Too Much' is a better album than Mika's first album. It's better recorded and offers much more depth than the first.
I can't stop playing 'Blue Eyes'. The lyrics in this song have a lot of relevancy to me. Actually it feels as though Mika has written this song just for me. I work a few hundred kilometres from home and I return home on my days off every few days. I have to admit I didn't remove the Mika album from my car during the drive back to work this morning. I kept hitting the repeat button on 'Blue Eyes' and then just for a break I'd listen to 'Blame it on the Girls' again.
So Mika, if you're reading this... Nice album. It's quite clear to me that you've shed a lot of 'Blood, Sweat and Tears' producing this album. You must be very proud. And it's rare that I like more than two songs on any album I buy. You've scored pretty well in my book. I won't see you in concert when you come to Australia, but if you want to catch up backstage or something, let me know. I know there will be lots of competition from your female fans. But I don't care. I'm in it just to kick back and enjoy the music.
Kind regards to all.