Mika’s newest album The Origin of Love follows in the footsteps of the singer’s previous two albums with positive, pop-beats that lift up your mood no matter how down you are. Listening to it on a Friday afternoon, I was impressed with Mika’s latest effort and, despite my fatigue from the long week, his album left me feeling renewed and ready for the weekend. Including fine contributions from rapper Pharrell, featured in the first U.S. single “Celebrate,” the album is shaped by Daft Punk influences that distinguish it ever so slightly from his two previous efforts, Life in Cartoon Motion and The Boy Who Knew Too Much.
Although a few of the songs are not in my taste, there are quite a few hits on here that make it worthwhile.
With one of my favorites, “Lola,”, which discusses failed relationships — “why do we even bother / when there’s only one way out” — Mika shows he has more serious things to sing about than Grace Kelly. The chorus, “Lola / I’ve made up my mind / I’m not going to fall in love this time” is relatable, as everyone’s tried to protect himself from being hurt at some point. I could see this song being played in a bar as college kids, drunk or not, sing along to the catchy chorus.
Another highlight is “Celebrate,” which is similarly catchy and relentlessly upbeat. “I want the whole world to celebrate,” sings Mika. “Popular Song,” which features Priscilla Renea, is another hit. Reminiscent of Little Jackie tunes and that awkward stage in high school — “it ain’t a bad thing to be a loser baby” — the song describes the rise to stardom of a former “nobody.”
A few songs I wasn’t crazy about were “The Origin of Love” and “Stardust.” They were neither addictive nor memorable. “The Origin of Love” featured ethereal elements while at the same time experimenting with Daft Punk-esque electro chords that just didn’t do it for me. And “Overrated,” although not terrible, was too melancholy for me.
The major qualm I have with the album is Mika’s translation of his original song, “Elle me dit,” released as a single in France, to “Emily”. Though the beat and tune remain the same, the English lyrics leave something to be desired, and I can’t listen to it without attempting to sing the French lyrics.
Overall, Mika’s latest record is a perfect pick-me-up that everyone should have a listen to while driving or lounging on the bed as a study break.