MIKA - Life In Cartoon Motion  [320K/bps MP3]
I can bet a few quid on the fact that I won't be the only blog offering you this album today but that's not important. What is important is that, amazingly to me I was watching some crap TV show the other night and the band that played out at the end, I now know as MIKA, were pretty impressive. This isn't a phrase that comes out of my mouth very often when seeing bands of the past few years! There is no getting away from the drama and theatrics in the music and vocals of the lead singer. There is such a parallel with Queen that if you close your eyes, especially whilst listening to the single 'Grace Kelly' - which is doing amazingly well I read - sometimes you might be forgiven for actually visualising Freddy Mercury there in front of you...
The second track is a little bit of a tempo change and again has that overiding Queen-esque feel to it. Piano, Rock styled guitar and some really nice harmonies. In fact as I listen to it I already feel a liking for this track which wasn't there in the first few bars.
Track three starts off with a sound that reminds me right away of the ever lasting though not ever living Robbie Williams of former 'Take That' fame (and still hanging on even with his excruciating lyric writing skills!).
This song is weak.
Pissy. As a guitarist (and mediocre song writer myself) I can honestly tell you this is one of those that can be made and finished in one sitting.
Three chords and a chorus.
The fourth track has a faster feel to it and hits off with an electro-eighties sound. The vocal comes at you through a distorter a bit like a quitened megaphone or some crap. Then it opens up a bit and we are traversing the world of disco(!) Sorry but I never EVER liked friggin' disco. Now feeling like I am trapped in a scissor sisters album and I have to say it isn't a pleasant thought. The feeling isn't enjoyable either. Not for me this song. Uh-uh. Shit!
...Near the end, the friggin' megaphone style voice comes back in and it's just adding to the cheesiness of the song. Turn it down!
Piano, techno beat...reminds me of some early nineties Madonna or even Kylie Minogue. Then the voice breaks and here again is that falsetto Bee Gees-bloody-Scissor Sisters sound again. I don't know about you but I'm not so into that kind of sound. Don't get me wrong, although it took until I was about 30, I learned to appreciate that the Bee Gees really are talented and did some brilliant stuff(! yep! Honestly! Check them out!) but I do sometimes think that people emulating that kind of stuff nowadays..well...I don't know, it doesn't fit well somehow. You probably disagree but you're not writing this so fuck you.
The track carries on in a mind numbingly repetetive way.
Not much happening but I suppose it's an ok driving song..hehe radio music.
Now we have 'Relax, Take it Easy' which starts off with a womans voice, not sure exactly of what she is saying but it is in a heavy Spanish/mexican sounding accent.
Then the music.
Down a few beats for this one...slow and calmer. Not a hint of disco! It gains a few points over the preceding tracks already just for that fact alone!
Hehe. I'm not kidding but this one reminds me of the band Take That(!) or even their cohorts Boyzone.
Now there's a bit more going on in this song than first imagined. There's some orchestra playing, strings. I always love that.
This song is OK.
Not much to be said.
It's mellow and sounds a bit uplifting but again: A three chord trick.
Track seven, 'Billy Brown' has that unmistakable Beatles influenced querky sixties piano at the very beginning. Sounds good. The Kinks and The Beatles are a definite influence here. I'll risk it and say a bit of Bowie too. Not bad.
Track eight..hmm sounds a bit electro eighties again. If you like electronic synth music from the eighties then this is the album for you. If you don't then you still shouldn't write this band off just yet.
I just don't find anything in this track to hang on to. Did I mention the Scissor Sisters already?
I do have to smile at the chorus and title 'Big Girls you are beautiful. Well that depends on how big of course. (And how often they wash) I've got a story or two that I could recount that still makes me feel vomitous(?) just letting the memory creep into my mind. Urgh!
Track Nine...'Stuck In The Middle': Hmm, I'm transported back to the sixties or seventies with this one. A bit of a Leo Sayer track, musically/instrumentally at least. The singing and lyrics maybe not but it has that kind of cheesy and smug beat to it. Some Steely Dan has the same effect and I like some of their stuff (I know, I know..).
Not the worst track on the album.
'Happy ending' starts off with a three female harmony vocal not unlike the sort of 'All Saints' thing. Then the male lead comes in to a backdrop of orchestral strings and bass. A mid tempo pop sound. What else can I tell you. Middle of the road. Or, pure POP.
When this one ends you get a few moments of silence and then another song so I am assuming it's a bonus or hidden track. Hard to tell exactly when you have MP3s and nothing else! Anyway if it is a hidden track then all I can say is...they should have hidden it better than they did.
Overall I'm a bit stuck on this album. I haven't heard enough of it to actually form an opinion that means anything yet.
There are a lot of simple three chord tricks, fading harmonies and repeated chorus lines and key changes. All the stunts that give you POP or RADIO play. I also read somewhere that Mika, the lead singer and writer, is a classically trained musician. I suppose it shows - the hidden extra track gives it away -but not in a nice way!
Does it mean the music is good?
Well, no but there is something about this band..
Definitely one of those sounds that worms its way into your affections and ear. There is one thing noticable by its absence and that is Solos.
There are no solo musical breaks worth mentioning!
Now and then you get the feel of a song and then it breaks to some interesting sounding piano which threatens a great solo and then...vocal is back before you even got your shoes off. Bollocks.
This band is most likely going to be everywhere very soon. They will be big and then they will become irritating; be the music on detergent advertising campaigns; radio station jingles; then I'll apologise for ever liking them and that will be that.
For now though, download it here today.
You shouldn't miss it.
My links were deleted like a hundred other sites' too. I just googled for ages and found a load of dead links to this. The producer is actively killing them and stopping the music being heard!
Well I didn't post these but I did find them so enjoy while it lasts....
Click or Click
Album also here:
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Hope you enjoy the tunes today.
EDIT - #Been listening to the album most of the day and, although it isn't brilliant or something I'd rush out and buy (is there any album that'd make me part with cash?) I must say it's great to have some nice uplifting, positive tunes playing.
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