The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Boy Who Knew Too Much


Someone one told me I have gay pop music taste. I don’t think that’s true. I think I have taste, and all interesting pop music is a little bit gay. Going back to Little Richard, pop music is about being unorthodox, androgynous, singing in falsetto, having long hair, wearing make-up, maybe a type of seedy, faded glamour, but mainly it’s just about having the balls to say ‘this is worthwhile, I like it and I don’t care what other people think’. And that’s what all great pop music is; from The Beatles to David Bowie, from Queen to Erasure, from Suede to Goldfrapp.

Heterosexual music just makes me think of the middle-aged stodge of Dire Straits and U2. Anything enjoyed by the sort of men who wear driving gloves.

This is all precursing my review of Mika’s new album. Apparently it’s showing a new darker side of Mika. Well, yes it is, in the same way that a clear blue sky with one small cloud in the distance is slightly darker than a clear blue sky. Because basically it’s back into the romper-suit, back into the playpen, with bouncy nursery-rhyme tunes and lyrics written in multicoloured felt-tip.

It is, as you might expect, brilliant. The first three tracks could be singles and almost certainly will be. Dr John is a close relative of Billy Brown. I See You will have the stage show lighting guy hitting all the lights marked ‘blue’. Blue Eyes makes little immediate impression so will be a grower. Good Gone Girl is my favourite, a track a little too odd to be a single. Touches You is the sort of thing Prince did when he still had it. By The Time will have the stage show guy hitting all the lights marked ‘purple’. One Foot Boy is about as bad as it gets. The cod-Doll On A Music Box-show tune Toy Boy reminds me of Sparks’ Indiscreet. Pick Up Off The Floor is smoky fifties blues. And the final track – which iTunes tells me is We Are Golden (Acoustic Version) but which clearly isn’t – is an I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Queen track for those of us who think that Killer Queen and Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy were the best things that band ever did.

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