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The Recorder - Central Connecticut State University

April 4, 2007


Album: Mika: Life In Cartoon Motion

By Ted Ancher,Staff Writer


spacer.gifspacer.gif Possibly one of the greatest musical acts of the 21st century has emerged out of London. Mika’s debut album Life in Cartoon Motion is what music has been waiting for. His style is a bit flamboyant, but it only makes the songs and the playful lyrics more interesting and inspiring.


His first single “Grace Kelly†hit the top spot in the British charts for five weeks, however due to being relatively unknown in the States, “Grace Kelly†peaked at #76 here. Though this track is one of the best on the album, it is by far not his best.


“Love Today†which you may have heard on the Verizon Wireless commercials, is the next single and is far superior due to the immediate hook at the beginning of the song. This song keeps you moving.


As of right now, his biggest competition is the Kaiser Chiefs, who recently released their sophomore album and is probably the only other credible act coming from across the pond. Their hit “Ruby†knocked “Grace Kelly†off the top spot. This situation is very reminiscent of the way it was back in the late 50’s and early 60’s when British acts were doing extremely well in their native land, but were huge flops in the United States.


It wasn’t until 1964 when The Beatles broke the mold and headed what is now known as the British Invasion. With his upcoming single “Love Today†Mika could single-handedly begin a new one, especially with an album like Life In Cartoon Motion.


As you dig deeper into the album you’ll find that nearly every single song is very catchy and is very easy to sing along to either by the end of the song or by the second or third listen.


He’s being compared to greats such as Nillson, Freddie Mercury of Queen, and Elton John, which is not a bad thing. He has definitely proven that he can turn the classic sounds of the 60’s and 70’s into contemporary classics of today.


At times some songs can get syrupy such as “Lollipop,†but for the most part are light and tuneful, driven by strong melodies and a rollicking yet playful and tuneful piano. His talent for song craft, in my opinion, is unmatched, and is a breath of fresh air for Britain and the music world in general.


“Relax, Take it Easy†takes the melody of the chorus from “(I Just Died) In Your Arms Tonight†by the Cutting Crew and turns it into a very far out catchy dance track, that if played at clubs would be a surefire hit. However, he isn’t all fun and games. He does get serious at times, such as the insightful “My Interpretation†and the personal and reflective “Any Other World,†which has strings taken from The Beatles songbook.


If you’re sick and tired of today’s commercial pop scene, or are just tired of music in general, this album will reawaken your senses and clean out the earwax build-up. Just because his name isn’t Justin Timberlake doesn’t mean he produces terrible music. He is worth giving a try. Bottom line: Life in Cartoon Motion is, for lack of a better term, ear candy.

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