Album: Mika, The Boy Who Knew Too Much (Island)
Friday 25 September 2009
According to Mika, the songs on his second album deal with his teenage years – which presumably means that the multi-million-selling Life In Cartoon Motion dealt with his early childhood, which would explain why it sounded like the musical equivalent of a dressing-up box being ransacked.
But frankly, it's hard to tell the difference between the two albums, especially when "Toy Boy" sounds like Andy Pandy and Looby-Loo having a spat in their basket (ask your mum). Once again, Mika's undoubted talent and energy is expended on ideas rooted in music-hall jollity and delivered with the camp enthusiasm of Freddie Mercury in a tent. There are occasional hints of alternative directions – the all-too-brief burst of "West End Girls"-style Anglo-rap that enlivens "Rain", the springy African guitar motif carrying "Blue Eyes", the double-time flamenco handclaps of "Blame It On The Girls" – but they're quickly subsumed within the recurrent waves of Queenish glam-pop, Sparks-style piano and piercing falsetto which make The Boy Who Knew Too Much effectively just Life In Cartoon Motion part two, with even more vertiginous mood-swings and infatuations. As with Mariah Carey, there's no denying Mika's technical prowess, but there's an increasing sense of it being frittered away on slim ideas tricked out with layers of interlocking vocals: froth and irritation in equal measure.
Download this: Blue Eyes, Rain, Blame It On The Girls
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Madonna Rebel Heart: Pharrell Williams collaboration and 13 more songs leaked
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'