Lebanese-British singer Mika is known for his catchy camp tunes that have had great success in mainstream pop. Known for their uplifting sounds and piano motifs, his songs always seemed to have clever pop lyrics about different issues. His fourth studio album No Place In Heaven takes a shift from this campy style, to a more mature pop style. The great success of this album is the candid quality of the stories told, as well as the variety in musical composition.
The introductory track Talk About You sounds like a Mika standard with a playful piano and upbeat tempo. The song is a the heigh of catchy pop exploring the universal theme of infatuation. The next track All She Wants takes a shift to a more personal subject matter as Mika explores his complicated relationship with his mother and her attitude towards his sexual orientation. The vocal layers on this track are lovely to listen to and it is a catchy tune. The next track Last Party is a slower track that is noted as a homage to Freddie Mercury and the myth of his party antics once he found out he was HIV positive. The track is reminiscent of the ‘party because the world is going to end’ theme that has been present in pop music, but this song has a more bittersweet and personal touch to the theme.
Good Guys is another touching anthem that looks at the disappearance of good guys in the world and is a track where Mika thanks the role models that have influenced his life. The lyrics in the song feel complex and very open to interpretation. Oh Girl You’re the Devil houses more great vocal exploration with some mesmerising deep vocals. No Place In Heaven is another track about Mika struggling with religion and his struggle for acceptance. Starting At The Sun is the weakest song on the album as I feel it lacked a substantial lyrical depth compared to the other heavy songs. Hurts is one of the best songs on the album – it is a deeply emotional track that showcases Mika’s vulnerable vocals. Promiseland (a bonus track on the album) is a funky and catchy tune that explores an electric guitar accompaniment that interplays with an electro sound.
Overall, this album is a whole lot of musical fun. Mika really knows how to fill an accompaniment in his iconic way. While the piano is almost present in every song, it doesn’t lack diversity as each song explores a different themes and style. Lyrically, this album is propelled to great heights at the lyrics are complex, honest and clever. This album is filled with a lot of heart and simply put – pop genius.