Saturday, April 07, 2007

Somebody to love

I have news for British pop sensation Mika: if you don't want to be compared to Freddie Mercury, well... don't compare yourself to Freddie Mercury. On his MySpace page, he says of his music, "Think Beck via Queen..." and on the first track on his new CD, he sings, "I tried to be Grace Kelly/ but her looks were too sad/ So I tried a little Freddie..."

That said, he does sound like Freddie Mercury - and in my book, that's awesome. In fact, the best parts of the album are the parts where he unabashedly borrows Queen's theatricality, tracks like "Grace Kelly," "Love Today," "Big Girl (You are Beautiful)", and "Happy Ending."

The album is a bit inconsistent, swinging from clever pop-tronica (all of the above-mentioned) to generic New Wave rehash ("Relax") to sappy political ballads replete with strings and a children's chorale("Any Other World").

But when Mika channels Freddie Mercury, the results are irresistible - and it makes you realize the true greatness of Queen.

(By the way: I consider Mika to be a member of the new school of what I have named "happy-pop" - after years of maudlin, whiny, emo-tinged radio pop, I think we are finally seeing the natural reaction against that. Think OKGO, Scissor Sisters, Fountains of Wayne, Apples in Stereo... It's all peppy, major-chord music. Happy-pop. And I am a big fan.)

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