The pop world might be all cooing 'n' cross-eyed over this flamboyant elfin with extended tail-feathers, as if it were shaken suddenly from a slumber, but the arrival of such a character was in fact always inevitable. He's an unlikely but traceable amalgamation of random pop culture explosions from the past few years--two parts Paulo Nutini, one part Kemal from Big Brother, a dash of Daphne & Celeste, a barrel measure of Scissor Sisters, and another pinch of post-ironic dancing to Elton John at the Students' Union gone midnight. It's no secret that the UK has a weakness for pretty-boy singer songwriters either--he fits in there too, in that he's about to stick its index finger in the socket and pour it a drink.
Give it 12 months and you might be taking out a restraining order--Mika will split opinion--but his quasi-soul falsetto is unbelievable, that much is immediately obvious. There are moments nearing syrupy Feeling-esque normalcy (take "My Interpretation"), but those aside its high camp insatiability all the way. Theres a hint of Freddie Mercurys theatricality in the voice, and in "Big Girl" he's even written a modern day "Fat Bottomed Girls". "Lollipop" is Jake Shears leading the Jackson 5, "Love Today" is the missing link between the Bee Gees and Village People and "Relax, Take It Easy" is a chilled Pet Shop Boys in gold lamé. Too cheesy to be a classic, perhaps, but this is just the brand of subversive eccentricity Robbie has failed miserably to achieve over his past few albums. --James Berry
MIKA Life In Cartoon Motion (2007 UK 12-track enhanced CD album - The stunning debut album from the Beirut born 23-year old virtuoso whose tunes combine a heady euphoric rush with darker unexpected elements: daytime melodramas and night-time tales of love loss abandonment hope and happiness including the deliriously catchy singles Grace Kelly Love Today Big Girl [You Are Beautiful] & Happy Ending plus exclusive CD-Rom material)