Life In Cartoon Motion


Casablanca, 2007

REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Let me give you the skinny on this disc from Mika. While a fun and entertaining listen, this is a case of an artist liberally stealing from those who came before him, in the ultimate expression of the retro fad that has engulfed our culture these days. So, in honor of this achievement, I will take you all back to the ‘70s for this review.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Life In Cartoon Motion is retro-city to the max. At various points, Mika literally channels fab artists like Queen, Elton John, the Bee Gees and even modern contemporaries like the Scissor Sisters. Unfortunately, while bitchin’ artists like the Sisters took the sound of the ‘70s and made it modern, Mika merely regurgitates what has come before him. If you can dig it, that’s fine, but please don’t call Mika an originator.

But, I’m here to keep it real. For all my complaining, this kid is totally munga (awesome) in terms of his vocal abilities.  On the first track, “Grace Kelly,” Mika channels one Freddie Mercury, a man whose reputation as one of the great front men is still in full force. To hear anyone sing like Freddie and pull it off is so wicked.

Again though, one can’t help but feel this has been done before. “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” is a shameless reworking of “Fat Bottomed Girls.” Do me a solid, Mika, and never ever try a stunt like this again. I can handle it once. “Relax, Take It Easy” holds the position of being the best Bee Gee single not recorded by the Gibb bros. on the album.

I will admit that “Any Other World” is pretty far out, man. This is what Joshua Radin needed to have sounded like on his debut disc; quiet and touching performances with oomph behind them. Check out the “Eleanor Rigby”-like string arrangements that put this song outta sight!

Life In Cartoon Motion is primo music when you just want to sit back and chillax. How much of the album you enjoy will come down to your thoughts on the style of music Mika employs here. A number of songs have refused to leave my head since I first played this disc, but I cannot put it on the same level as Scissor Sisters in good conscience because it is so derivative of what has come before.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Casablanca, and is used for informational purposes only.