Mika The Boy Who Knew Too Much
There’s a reason that musicals based on famous pop music are so successful. Whether it’s The Beatles, Billy Joel, or ABBA, it’s easier to enjoy the amped-up energy of a show if the music is immediately familiar. So while nearly every moment on Mika’s sophomore album The Boy Who Knew Too Much sounds derived from a past mega-hit, it’s what makes the album so enjoyable. Mika shakes his jazz hands throughout a whirlwind cabaret of what could easily be Queen or Prince or Scissor Sisters songs, churning through hooks so fast that it’s hard to find time to identify their origins. But although The Boy Who Knew Too Much is a bit of a pop-music Frankenstein, it’s also shamelessly fun and endlessly catchy, so why be picky? Although the album seeks to sum up Mika’s teenage experiences, it’s considerably more mature than his 2007 debut Life In Cartoon Motion, except for the over-the-top opening track “We Are Golden,” which sounds like a sing-along for toddlers. Exuberant, glittery dance tracks are still his specialty (“Blame It On The Girls,” “Good Gone Girl,” “Touches You,” and the booming “Rain” are standouts), and lively vaudeville-esque piano numbers (“Dr. John” and “Toy Boy”) add diverting variety. Overall, Mika has slapped together a pop-music patchwork capable of appealing to anyone who’s ever liked a song on the radio.