Mika: Life in Cartoon Motion
Review By: Gringo

Ah, here we are at this site's much maligned music section, where reviews are as rare as valid documentation in a Mexican immigrant's pocket.

Leaping into the aural abyss -- well, an abyss save for some recent reviews by Joe, who pretty much keeps this section of Listen To Me running while I concentrate on doing very little -- I present to you a new music review of some British guy who sings a lot.

Mika is a tall, British dandy of a man who so far has one album to his name, Life in Cartoon Motion. I can look past the slightly annoying hipster-esque nonsensical name because it turns out that this recent iTunes download (I don't steal music from the Internet, honest) is actually rather decent. It's a mishmash of Queen, Scissor Sisters and a few other sexually freewheeling bands in between and while not as good as anything the aforementioned bands have released to date, it still inches toward achieving similar levels of enjoyment.

You may have heard the most popular, or most played, song from the album, Grace Kelly. It's heavy on the piano and upbeat sounds, although Mika's bitching about "Why don't you like me?" does grate a little. Still, at the most basic level, this is an enjoyable song. Sure, it's popcorn-style fluff that appeals to the masses, but sometimes that's just what you need. Not everything has to be as dour as the soundtrack to Je Suis De Malles Pants Poop.

Thankfully, Mika is not a one hit wonder, and many of the other songs on his album are enjoyable candy coated pockets of noise. It's the kind of music that is perfect for gym workouts, or for masturbation sessions, or for the early hours of a house party -- you know, those hours when hardly anyone has turned up, and you feel like the party is going to be a massive failure because the few people that have arrived are the ones you really didn't want to invite, but they would find out about your eVite somehow, and then that just creates its own extra layer of awkwardness. Wow, people really suck, don't they?

This here be Mika

Getting back to this album, if you're in the mood for some mindless bubblegum pop, I highly recommend trying Mika's music out. If you liked Grace Kelly then other catchy tunes in a similar vein are numerous, including Lollipop, Love Today, Stuck in the Middle, and Big Girl (You Are Beautiful).

I'm also fond of the song Billy Brown, which is a jolly little ditty about a married men who ends up having a gay affair and then disappearing down to Mexico to escape his tortured private life. And fond of it because it's an amusing, pleasant tune, not because that's my life story. Ahem.

Where the album doesn't do as well is with the slower, more depressing numbers, including Happy Ending (oh! I see what you did there, Mr. Mika! It's not a happy song! So smart!), Over My Shoulder, and Any Other World. They're not particularly enjoyable to listen to. While none of the songs on this album are particularly innovative, the pop tunes definitely redeem themselves by virtue of being fun to listen to. The maudlin melodies on offer here don't earn your listening respect because they're very run of the mill and not outstanding in, oh, any way.

Summary time! This album is definitely worth a listen. Don't believe? Ask the dishes! Or, don't pay attention to that Beauty and the Beast reference and instead go check out Mika's first album.

Finally, I was looking around this here Internet to see what other people made of this album, when I found a particularly sour review over at British newspaper The Guardian. Check out that review and see if you have the same lingering question I do: when did Mr. Bean become such a grouch?

Coming soon -- Bean 3


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