Rarely has a new pop artist so directly challenged their audience as Mika does on his debut single "Grace Kelly." Exclaiming that he could be anything while asking pop fans why they don't like him simply for who he is, Mika sets up listeners for an entire album digging into questions of identity, love, and life written in capital letters tumbling forth in a cornucopia of playful pop.
Diverse Identities Are Celebrated
Whether it's the confused, seemingly bisexual, protagonist of "Billy Brown," the large women celebrated in "Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)," or the "identity mad" protagonist of "Grace Kelly," Mika celebrates a huge world of diverse identities. As if to put an exclamation point on this element of his music, Mika has refused to discuss his own sexual identity in interviews. In the bright, colorful, friendly world the characters in his lyrics long for, specific identification would be much less important.
Adding to the celebration of diversity in life filling his lyrics, Mika has also filled his songs with a wide-ranging musical palette. Horns, strings, Freddie Mercury-on-helium vocals, playground rhymes, and slick, contemporary disco are just some of the sounds that careen back and forth in joyous cacophony here. With so much flirting at the edge of good taste, there are songs that seem to go overboard and occasionally bring the celebration down. The sad ballad "Any Other World," in particular, seems to get sunk in over-indulgent musical and lyrical goo.
Top Tracks on Life in Cartoon Motion
- Grace Kelly
- Relax (Take It Easy)
- Billy Brown
- Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)
One of the Top New Talents of the Year
Much of the British music press saw Mika coming and identified him as the top pop artist to watch in 2007. With a #1 hit single and #1 hit album, he has not disappointed the prognosticators. On this side of the Atlantic, he may find it a bit tougher breaking through. Unfortunately, his blurry public sexual identity is the primary factor that may hold him back, particular pop radio which has turned its back on Scissor Sisters in the past. For those who look beyond the industry powers-that-be, Mika's debut is a refreshing, colorful confection that will abundantly please most mainstream pop fans.