Life In Cartoon Motion
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2007 debut album from the quirky Lebanese-born and Paris/London raised singer/songwriter who has been compared to Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Elton John and The Bee Gees. Brimming with brightly-hued melodies, engaging hooks and a lyrical style that speaks exactly and distinctly of its moment, he's been given an outlet for his unique vision. When you hear it, you'll know...this is one very special artist! Features the singles 'Relax Take It Easy' and 'Grace Kelly'. Island.
The pop world might be all cooing 'n' cross-eyed over this flamboyant elfin with extended tail-feathers, as if it were shaken suddenly from a slumber, but the arrival of such a character was in fact always inevitable. He's an unlikely but traceable amalgamation of random pop culture explosions from the past few years--two parts Paulo Nutini, one part Kemal from Big Brother, a dash of Daphne & Celeste, a barrel measure of Scissor Sisters, and another pinch of post-ironic dancing to Elton John at the Students' Union gone midnight. It's no secret that the UK has a weakness for pretty-boy singer songwriters either--he fits in there too, in that he's about to stick its index finger in the socket and pour it a drink.
Give it 12 months and you might be taking out a restraining order--Mika will split opinion--but his quasi-soul falsetto is unbelievable, that much is immediately obvious. There are moments nearing syrupy Feeling-esque normalcy (take "My Interpretation"), but those aside it's high camp insatiability all the way. There's a hint of Freddie Mercurys theatricality in the voice, and in "Big Girl" he's even written a modern day "Fat Bottomed Girls". "Lollipop" is Jake Shears leading the Jackson 5, "Love Today" is the missing link between the Bee Gees and Village People and "Relax, Take It Easy" is a chilled Pet Shop Boys in gold lamé. Too cheesy to be a classic, perhaps, but this is just the brand of subversive eccentricity Robbie has failed miserably to achieve over his past few albums. --James BerrySee all Editorial Reviews
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Needless to say, his music is... different, but in a good way, of course. In an era where we turn on the radio and hear girls singing about how their boyfriends don't understand them and how guys want to get, quote, `low' with the opposite sex, it's refreshing to hear songs that are fun, enjoyable and meaningful; not just the rehashed `wahahaha' theme we always here.
LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION begins with the song GRACE KELLY, which is about a boy who's just trying to make friends, a boy who, ultimately, tries to be someone else to make that friend. The fun lyrics and the upbeat singing--mainly its high notes--make it a great way to debut the song.
LOLLIPOP, is of course, something to `suck' on. It's easy to say that Mika made fun of the phrase `sucking on a lollipop,' considering the song is about how constantly thinking about love is bad for your emotional health and not something sexual. It's a song that makes you go, `Hey, yeah; I don't have to worry about finding the perfect somebody right away.' It's also one of those songs that can just put you in the best of moods.
By the third song, we learn that Mika's music isn't all just about finding friends or living life the best way you can. MY INTERPRETATION is the kind of song that can be taken several different ways. I personally think it's the way Mika reflects on what goes on in his life.
LOVE TODAY is, easily, one of my favorite songs on the album. Upon examining the lyrics, the song is about the `different ways of love.' This also involves the love that goes on between mothers and their daughters, how men love hookers, and the way people love `big busts.'
The next song, RELAX (TAKE IT EASY) is about how we worry about things we can't predict the outcome of. It's meant to tell the listener to stop worrying, which is something that gets in front of everyone's lives, for the worse.
RING RING is about him and a significant other, who can't stop calling. The `please stop calling me' kind of song is different here, considering the lyrics don't actually say there's anyone calling them up on the phone.
ANY OTHER WORLD is a song that you'll have to decipher for yourself. There's no easy way to analyze them. The `say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in' line could be reference to suicide, but that's up to the individual who hears the song.
BILLY BROWN is another one of Mika's simple story songs. The song is about Billy Brown, whose life was `going according to plan' before he `fell in love with another man.' It's about Brown's journey to try and understand who he really is. The `you are a victim of the times' line is an easy reference to how gay and lesbian individuals are heavily stereotyped.
BIG GIRL (YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL) is the first song I heard by Mika. It's a song that tells heavier girls that it's ok to be heavy and that not everyone's supposed to be size zero. There's always the argument that the song is promoting obesity. This is probably because of the `diet Coke and a pizza please; diet Coke I'm on my knees' line. But, as far as I see, the song is all about a girl being comfortable with her body.
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE is a song we can easily relate to. When we start doubting our own opinions and emotions, we get what's called `being stuck in the middle,' as Mika easily states.
ERASE is about someone getting rid of your feelings for someone else after a mistake on someone else's part. In my opinion, it's one of the most emotional songs on the CD.
HAPPY ENDING is the longest song on the CD. Coming in at nearly ten-and-a-half minutes long, it's got two parts. The first part deals with the idea that there's no happy ending after someone leaves you. It's a sad song, but it's also very dynamic. A group of singers sing the line `this is the way you left me, I'm not pretending; no hope no love no glory, no happy ending' in a low, sad voice. Later on, a more upbeat chorus comes around singing the last line, which makes you wonder whether or not the song will end the way it's expected. The next part (which, on the CD, the name is unmentioned) is called OVER MY SHOULDER. This is another one of Mika's songs that can't be easily explained. I doubt anyone can easily explain it other than the artist himself.
LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION also includes acoustic versions of the songs BILLY BROWN and MY INTERPRETATION, which are skillfully done and just as good as the non-acoustic versions.
In all honesty, there's really nothing bad about this CD. It easily deserves five stars, and as the songs stand, the disk IS five stars. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that they decided to put acoustic versions after the second part of HAPPY ENDING, `OVER MY SHOULDER.' All the songs are progressing up to this point, transitioning from upbeat to emotion. Yet, after the sorrowful ballad, we're thrust right back into the happy.
To me, that's something I don't like, though it's personal preference.
Mika is a great artist that everyone should listen to, at least once. He's an amazing songwriter; there's no song that wasn't at least co-written by him. That fact alone is amazing. The only songs that were co-written on the CD were Grace Kelly, My Interpretation, Ring Ring and Erase (which are, to me, the less powerful of his songs.) Erase is the most powerful out of the four, but the ones that Mika wrote himself are dynamic and shows his style in the full.
I definitely recommend LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION.
has gifted the world "the greatest thing since sliced bread" in
the POP MUSIC ARENA with his CD album: "LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION."
You will not find a better HOLIDAY music gift value.
ALL songs should be played "AT FULL THROTTLE"
(MIKA's own words.)
The only downside is blowing out your speakers 'cause
you love it all so much and so loud.
Just so you know--
-AMAZON chose to list "LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION"
#5 Best POP MUSIC for 2007.
-MIKA recently won FOUR awards--all in one evening--at the
WORLD MUSIC AWARDS in Monte Carlo for his song-writing/
(Over 100 reviews are here for you to look over.)
"SPRAY ON THE GLITTER" (MIKA's own words) &
HAVE YOURSELF A FUN, HAPPY HOLIDAY!
PS: There is also a new DVD "LIVE IN CARTOON MOTION"--
which is a must once you become a true MIKA fan.