Sanremo

MIKASeptember 6, 2019
Pop℗ 2019 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
9
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Songs
Popularity
1
Sanremo3:21
4.1
9 total
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Additional Information

Genres
Total length
3:21
Tracks
1
Released
September 6, 2019
Label
℗ 2019 Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
File type
MP3
Access type
Streaming and by permanent download to your computer and/or device
Internet connection
Required for streaming and downloading
Playback information
Via Google Play Music app on Android v4+, iOS v7+, or by exporting MP3 files to your computer and playing on any MP3 compatible music player
The first Scissor Sisters album was one of the catchiest debuts of the new millennium, but also one of the best-crafted. All camp on the surface but with plenty of substance underneath, it succeeded because the group wrote fantastic songs and backed them with excellent productions, usually in the vein of their biggest pop/dance heroes, from the Bee Gees to George Michael. If the follow-up, Ta-Dah, doesn't reach as high as its predecessor, it's certainly not the fault of some spot-on arrangements by head producer Babydaddy. Soundtracking his own mythical night at Studio 54 circa 1978, Babydaddy's Discoball Jazzfest Studio in New York City pumps out tracks gloriously in debt to the Bee Gees (of course), Elton John (although not on the track he contributes piano to), the Rolling Stones' brassy late-'70s stompers, electro-disco arena rock (if there is such a thing), and some sort of '70s disco hokum that features a very talented Gina Gershon on Jew's Harp. Similarities to their debut are much easier to find than differences, although the songs aren't quite as memorable (except the single "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'") and Ta-Dah is slightly samey in comparison. (The debut ranged for influences as late as 1987, and flaunted a tougher, leaner sound.) Still, Scissor Sisters remain consummate masters of their material; the chord changes on the ballad "Land of a Thousand Words" defy listeners to "not" think of a glittering disco ball, which is precisely the right image to be conjured. [This version of the album contains a bonus track, "Transistor."]
Making an album even more vibrant than Life in Cartoon Motion would have been difficult for Mika. On The Boy Who Knew Too Much, he doesn't try to top himself; instead, he reins in just enough of his debut's indulgent tendencies to let his gift for great melodies and hooks be the focus. His multifaceted pop sounds a little calmer and a lot more confident here -- rather than cramming songs with moments intended to impress that end up being overwhelming, "Dr. John"'s finger-popping minor fall and major lift and the calypso-tinged "Blue Eyes" actually are impressive because they're so direct. While Life in Cartoon Motion was remarkably engaging, occasionally it felt like Mika was more skilled at pastiche than presenting his own sound. Here, Mika and producer Greg Wells fashion songs that sound truly distinctive; though touches of inspirations and peers like Elton John, the Bee Gees, and the Scissor Sisters still pop up, the musician Mika borrows from most on The Boy Who Knew Too Much is himself. The album's opening trio of tracks nods to his debut's most vivid moments without copying them: "We Are Golden" is every bit as sunshiny as "Love Today"; "Blame It on the Girls" builds on "Grace Kelly"'s sleek style; and "Rain" is a kissing cousin to "Relax"'s pulsing, melancholy disco-pop. Mika tries a few different sounds on for size, most notably on "Toy Boy," a subversively sweet singsong that lies somewhere between Elvis Presley's "Wooden Heart" and the Dresden Dolls' "Coin Operated Boy," and the torchy finale, "Pick Up Off the Floor." While ballads still aren't his forte, slower tracks like the Imogen Heap collaboration "By the Time" offer welcome breathing room from "One Foot Boy" and the album's other almost ridiculously catchy tracks. Anyone who liked Life in Cartoon Motion's bright, brash approach won't be disappointed by The Boy Who Knew Too Much -- it's clear Mika knows exactly what he's doing. [The Deluxe Edition of the album includes the bonus track "Lover Boy" as well as a DVD with the video for "We Are Golden," along with performances of "Grace Kelly," "Lollipop," and "Love Today" from a gig at Paris' Parc de Princes stadium.]
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