Posted by: Amelia | June 14, 2007

Late to the Party: Mika

(‘Grace Kelly,’ Mika)

British singer Mika played DC’s 9:30 club on Tuesday. Sadly, I only started listening to his album yesterday. I had heard his infectious hit “Grace Kelly” a couple of times and liked it, but rolled my eyes after hearing “Lollipop,” an appropriately named confection if ever there was one. Mika is, as everyone and their mother has pointed out, the second coming of Freddie Mercury [edit for non-music consumers (such as my actual mother): Mercury was the lead singer of stadium-rock band Queen and died of AIDS in 1991]. The vocal and attitudinal resemblance is remarkable (and self-acknowledged; Mika references Freddie in “Grace Kelly”). His songs also have a tendency to sound like bubblier versions of certain Scissor Sisters‘ tracks. I’d call him derivative – as some critics have – but Mika does such a good job synthesizing the best elements of his musical influences that I have to just sit back and enjoy it. DC Metroblogger Tiffany Baxendell Bridge , who did catch the 9:30 show, captures it best:

“If you can imagine Freddie Mercury reincarnated as an early-20s British/Lebanese kid with crazy curly hair (okay, not a stretch) with some vintage Elton John, George Michael, and ALL of the Scissor Sisters mixed in, you can probably imagine what the rest of the album is like. […]

One of my favorite things about Mika is that even as he’s engaging with reckless abandon in pop theatricality, he does it without a trace of irony, while both acknowledging it and inviting the listener to abandon their hipster pretense and just enjoy the music for what it is.You can’t help but accept the invitation.”

Scissor Sisters is, of course, still a touring and album-producing band, and one of my favorites. Ergo, it is probably this bit of Mika’s mimicry that makes me hesitant to become a full-fledged slavering fan. But anyone who can bring Freddie Mercury back from the dead is pretty awesome.

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Responses

  1. Without delay, I would like to point out to you (but could not have until this minute): “Mika is the second coming of Freddie Mercury.” (Who is Freddie Mercury?)

  2. I saw the show. I was a huge fan of Freddie’s…I more than know who he was. Mika is very like him in some respects, has a 5 octave vocal range. I saw Freddie with Queen twice. I saw Mika last Thursday…He was fantastic. He’s bringing POP back, and thank God for that. I got to meet him after the show, and he was kind and unassuming. He met fans for an hour at least after the show and he was even ill with a chest cold. He’s the real deal. Hope he makes it BIG. He should, because his talent is BIG.


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