Mika / The Origin of Love / Review

by marcopantella

Read it on Chasseur Magazine / Issue 2 / Page 9

 

A pop odyssey in search of the origin of love is Mika’s mission as he releases his third studio album “The Origin of Love”. The cartoon boy of 2007 breakthrough record “Life in Cartoon Motion” is a grown up now but despite aiming for a serious and simple approach the overall result is still quintessentially Mika, as to say happy, cheeky, and fundamentally camp. Up to you to decide whether it is just enough or too much.

In the pop bubble world where everyone seems to unnecessarily collaborate with the likes of Guetta, Harris, and Benassi brothers, I appreciate that Mika is mildly contaminated by this trend. Only “Stardust” features Benny Benassi as producer and it is a fair compromise that brings about a liberating, positive, and sunny track where Mika’s trademark high-pitched voice is utterly rip-roaring.

Piano and guitar-driven tunes like “Underwater” and “Heroes” are  little moments were Mika’s romantic sensibility is just enough to make a connection with the songs, “‘Cause all I need is the love you breathe, put your lips on me and I can live underwater”. It may be unconventional to have a single as the closing track but unfortunately “Celebrate”, featuring Pharrell Williams, is more of a filler track like “Make You Happy” where an engaging arrangement is spoilt by a superfluous loop.

Still, as flamboyant as he can me, named-after-girls tracks like “Emily” and “Lola” are set to entertain during live shows where Mika delivers his best and shows that there is creativity and talent in his extravagant world as he plays with all sorts of taboos. The concept of this album is not as emotional as his debut’s but thanks to his admirable ability as a lyricist, that nowadays pop acts should look up to, this odyssey is a naive yet real contradiction that gives depth to a tricky love-pop album.

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