The Origin of Love – MIKA

After a three-year hiatus from his second album The Boy Who Knew Too Much, Mika has finally reached his potential, with his new third full-length LP The Origin of Love. Not only is this Mika’s finest work, but also helps express his inner self, lyrically and melodically. Mixing a fantastic blend of synth-pop with piano riffs, keyboards, and dreamy echoes, this proves Mika can not only sing, but also convey his message through music. The first self-titled track is a soft yet acceptable opener for the album, with beautiful echoing vocals and a smart use of quasi-auto tune. Then it continues right into an ocean of captivating and evocative melodies, such as the catchy, romance-filled “Lola,” the disco-loving groove “Stardust,” the electronic jam “Make You Happy,” and the piano ballad “Underwater.” After that is “Overrated,” another disco pop jingle, which starts out very similar to Kanye West’s 2008 jam “Paranoid.” The next track, “Kids,” is the weakest song off the album and reflects some of the album’s faults. Its annoyingly slow-paced blend of electronic and rock is somewhat dull, which can be detrimental to the album’s core. “Love You When I’m Drunk” is a pumped up vibration and slight improvement from “Kids,” but also is similarly dull, mostly through its stilted lyrics (When I get sober/I know I’ll get over you/I only love you (3x)/When I’m drunk). The next track, “Step With Me,” begins with a wondrous sounding hook, almost hauntingly similar to Alice in Wonderland. However, the chorus sounds like a country ballad trying to be pop or a pop jingle trying to be country. Fortunately afterwards, “Popular Song” comes on, being possibly the most ridiculous but catchiest tune off The Origin of Love. For those who hate horrible raps and rhymes, but love the hit Broadway show Wicked, “Popular Song” is a perfect choice. Although Mika and unprecedented rapper Priscilla Renea try their best to use explicit language, the bridge and chorus beg to differ, with a likable jingle and la-las, echoing Wicked’s hit song, “Popular.” This is definitely Mika’s strong suit, embodying his message of self-empowerment. The next track, “Emily,” is another appealing disco jam with a fast-paced French chorus. “Heroes” is probably Mika’s most vulnerable and softest song off the album, which can be both beneficial and unpleasant. Knowing that Mika is a hell of a performer, singer, and artist overall, it’s hard for him to translate that into a softer version of himself. But, as always, Mika demonstrates the contrast between the levels of softness and loudness in his music, which make his album generally diverse. The last song is possibly next to “Popular Song’s” ranking as the best and merriest tune of the album – the Pharrell Williams’ produced “Celebrate.” This song expresses not only a fun message of celebrating life, but comes off as extremely memorable, with its poppy noise, electric guitar riffs, and unforgettable chorus. Although Pharrell’s small appearance on his own track is unnecessary and superfluous, Mika definitely knows how to close a show.

The Origin of Loveexplores the themes of affection, lust, celebration, and of course, the origin of love. Being that his first album, Life in Cartoon Motion, was an uneasy beginning, and his second album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, was, to some extent, a better improvement, Mika’s third full-length LP has definitely been his best and finest work yet. Hopefully, his next album will be even catchier than The Origin of Love has already proven to be.
Grade: B+
Recommended?: Yes
Suggested Tracks: “Make You Happy,” “Stardust,” “Popular Song,” “Celebrate


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