Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: album reviews, falsetto, Freddie Mercury, Mika, pop, Releases of the Week, The Beatles
PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Mika’s “We Are Golden” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts
Mika’s latest installment in his series of feel-good, Freddie Mercury-esque ballads comes to us in the form of The Boy Who Knew Too Much. From the starting beat of the bass drum in lead track, “We Are Golden,” it is obvious that Mika has plans for his listeners to be entirely involved and ready to sing and dance their way through their places of work or study.
Sounding a tad too much like a Broadway chorus, Mika manages to take a basic drum rhythm, a few chords on a bass and random hints of mysterious synthesizer in the background, and turn it into an epic piece of world-saving music. Alternating between soprano climaxes and occasional speaking section, Mika engages the listener in the fun he and his usual background choir are undoubtedly having while recording.
Witty dialogue at the start of “Blame It on the Girls” will catch your attention, and then carry you into a strange rendition of a “boys vs. girls” situation. Mika discovers his extra-explorative side, with much more synthesizer than usual and a more distinct dance mood on this album than his past works. We still receive samples of his oh-so necessary vocal range, and he once again manages to bring the listener into his strange world of men singing like women. “Dr. John” will satisfy the more low key aspect of Mika that listeners might also expect. A Beatles-esque chorus with clapping and extra voices sits agreeably with acoustic guitars and tambourine in the individual verses.
Beautiful piano melodies mixed with violins and the lighter side of Mika’s vocals receive the limelight on tracks like “I See You,” and even a clarinet/flute melody in “Toy Boy” presents some most pleasant sounds. “Toy Boy” uses this pleasant melody and innocent delivery while reminiscing about an inane woman. Mika’s use of classical instruments throughout, mixed with synthesized dance beats and unpredictable melodies, add to every track and the overall effect of the album as a whole.
Mika explores multiple musical styles, from dance, to pop, to spiritual, and then even has a jazzy composition in “Pick Up off the Floor.” His interesting vocals, imaginative ideas, and beautiful compositions combine wonderfully to create an absolute treasure to listen to and enjoy.
— Colleen Baker