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Mika, uncovered

Is "My Name Is Michael Holbrook" the pop star's most introspective album yet?

By Nicolas Magenham | Video of the Day | October 9, 2019

Mika finally takes off his mask: after a long American journey to draw on his roots, he has now rediscovered Michael Holbrook (the real name of the singer behind hits Relax, Take It Easy and Grace Kelly) on his new album, My Name Is Michael Holbrook.

Admittedly, Mika has stayed true to the extravagant and colourful musical flourishes which characterised him in the 2000s, but the inherent introspection on this fifth album inevitably elicits some intense emotions which are not always pleasant to deal with. Consequently, he does not hesitate to broach his most negative feelings, like jealousy on Dear Jealousy, over a 90s-style production reminiscent of Savage Garden’s biggest moments.

On Sanremo, despite the summer lounge-style ambiance, Mika evokes the troubled view of his timid adolescence, regarding his sexuality. As for the song Tiny Love, a track whose style is similar to Freddie Mercury’s, he discusses the feelings of love for both the big and small things in life.

My Name is Michael Holbrook is also a vibrant tribute to women: those in is family, first of all on the track Blue; then in a tragically corollary way, the ballad Paloma is dedicated to Mika’s sister, who died in 2010.

And finally, Platform Ballerinas encourages women to live however they want: “Dancing like she loves it with her best dress on/Spinning, jumping, messing up her hair, but it doesn’t matter.” Despite everything, the album does carry a fair amount of hope, as seen in I Went to Hell Last Night, a song which confirms that God is always around us, even in our darkest moments.


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