14 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

No less an authority than Sex Pistol-cum-DJ Steve Jones has opined he finds the aught-something UK pop scene a dizzying, trend-challenged stew, a notion this cocky debut by Lebanon-born/Paris conservatory trained Mika reinforces with high-flying glee. Deconstruct it and you’ll find some familiar ‘70s sonic touchstones at its core, specifically Elton John’s pop-craft smarts and Freddie Mercury’s flair for over-the-top showmanship, right down to the delicious, campy abandon with which the musician delivers his soaring falsetto on the impossibly effervescent opener/Euro-breakout single “Grace Kelly.” “Relax” suggests the Scissor Sisters with a serious Abba jones, while “Interpretation” spotlights a solid, more traditional ballad instinct and the Broadway-ready “Billy Brown” showcases an artist who knows how to employ the copious surplus brass he carries between his musical legs.

EDITORS’ NOTES

No less an authority than Sex Pistol-cum-DJ Steve Jones has opined he finds the aught-something UK pop scene a dizzying, trend-challenged stew, a notion this cocky debut by Lebanon-born/Paris conservatory trained Mika reinforces with high-flying glee. Deconstruct it and you’ll find some familiar ‘70s sonic touchstones at its core, specifically Elton John’s pop-craft smarts and Freddie Mercury’s flair for over-the-top showmanship, right down to the delicious, campy abandon with which the musician delivers his soaring falsetto on the impossibly effervescent opener/Euro-breakout single “Grace Kelly.” “Relax” suggests the Scissor Sisters with a serious Abba jones, while “Interpretation” spotlights a solid, more traditional ballad instinct and the Broadway-ready “Billy Brown” showcases an artist who knows how to employ the copious surplus brass he carries between his musical legs.

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