Thursday, February 08, 2007

Life In Cartoon Motion - Mika

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When someone “wins” the BBC “Sound of 2007" poll you can be sure that they’re going to be huge. You can never, however, be sure that they’re actually going to be any good. Mika is a case in point. You haven’t been able to switch on the Radio without hearing the ubiquitous Grace Kelly this year but whilst some have been raving about the track as if we’d suddenly found our new pop saviour, I was never that convinced. Yes it’s catchy and yes, it has a somewhat infectious chorus but my feelings were, and still are, that if this is the bright new hope then we’re all in trouble. It’s a feeling that Life In Cartoon Motion goes a long way to confirming.

The immediate problems are twofold. Firstly there is nothing that comes close to matching Grace Kelly and secondly there is such a hodgepodge of “influences” on display that in the end it overwhelms you. The feeling is one of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks. The obvious starting point would be Queen (Freddy Mercury is even name checked on Grace Kelly); Billy Brown echoes Bring Back That Leroy Brown whereas Big Girl doesn’t even try to hide its similarities to Fat Bottomed Girls. Whether it’s the attempt to ape Queen on these tracks or the misguided attempts at humour on the two, both are amongst the worst of the worst on this collection. They're the kind of things that Chris Moyles would do on his Radio 1 show...and I don't mean that as a compliment.

It doesn’t get much better either. In fact I can hardly think of a good word to say about it. If anything the best thing I could say about it is that the rest of the album almost makes Grace Kelly the “pop hit of the year” that everyone else seems to think it is.

He may well be a mix of the Scissor Sisters, Robbie Williams and Queen, but sadly he’s taken all the wrong bits and has none of the charm. Mika himself calls it his “marmite” album and you can chalk up another one for the “loathe it” column here. Any signs of promise are far outweighed by the dross. Still people seem to like him so he may well get a second chance to prove me wrong.

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