Mika's Sophomore album is "Golden"
"Teenage dreams in a teenage circus, running around like a clown on purpose," sings Lebanese-American singer Mika in the opening lines of the lead track, "We Are Golden," on his new album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much. The album was released on September 21 under Casablanca Records and chronicles the angst, confusion and humor of the artist's adolescence in a myriad of pop songs that are perfect for dance parties and sing-a-longs (if you can match his three-octave range).
The CD is Mika's second studio album and he has said it, "in a sense, is kind of part two" of his first album, Life in Cartoon Motion, which was released in February 2007 to considerable critical acclaim and commercial success. The Boy Who Knew Too Much shows the artist maturing lyrically and experimenting further with instrumental arrangements, while continuing to showcase the impressive falsetto vocals and energetic pop style that have earned him comparisons to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie. While it is questionable as to whether this new album will boast as many hits as the first, it is nevertheless a solid collection that is both joyous and unique.
"We Are Golden" can be best described as a teenage anthem, with a powerful chorus and lyrics that everyone can relate to. The music video for the song encapsulates the album as a whole, as it features Mika dancing shamelessly around his bedroom in a pair of tightie-whities and gold sequin high-tops, making faces in the mirror and rolling around on an animal print rug. The catchy, upbeat nature of the song encourages listeners to do the same, and while the dance moves may be flamboyant and exaggerated, the dancing-around-your-bedroom-in-your-underwear experience is an all too familiar one for everyone who is and ever was a teenager.
Other notable fast-paced songs include the album's second single, "Blame it on the Girls," which tells listeners to "blame it on the girls who know what to do, blame it on the boys who keep hitting on you," in response to life's difficulties, and "Good Gone Girl," which mourns a loss of innocence in young girls and encourages them to "dance, dance, to the life you wanted, when you were only 17, with your good girl dream."
Darker tracks like "Pick Up Off the Floor" and "By the Time," which features Imogen Heap on backing vocals, allow Mika to showcase his more emotional, contemplative side. The song "Toy Boy" tells the bittersweet story of a protagonist that is "accidentally tragic," and strives for acceptance, claiming he is "just a boy like you," and is perhaps autobiographical of the artist whose colorful stage persona has prompted many rumors regarding his sexuality.
While The Boy Who Knew Too Much is essentially a quirky, fun album for people who like fast-paced pop, even the most seemingly vapid and silly songs contain an underlying sense of irony and cynicism that reflect the album's theme of adolescence, in which small trifles are blown out of proportion and then looked back upon with the wisdom and good humor of experience. "We are not what you think we are," Mika sings, "we are golden, we are golden."