Life may be full of frustration, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun, as Mika shows in his colourful fourth album, No Place in Heaven. After all, as he sings in Good Guys, "Some of us in the gutter/Are looking up at the stars".
In typical fashion, most tracks are candid, cocky, and upbeat, but with a hint of darkness. Rio, a feel-good song with a sing-along chorus is about starting afresh, while All She Wants is catchy and chipper, despite being about his difficult mother. In All She Wants, the Lebanese-British musician sings as though he's whispering secrets, then gets melodramatic for the energetic Oh Girl You're the Devil, before crooning romantic lyrics on the breezy Staring at the Sun.
Mika's opened up more than ever before, and piano ballads Hurts and No Place in Heaven show a lot of this vulnerability. He calls himself a freak and begs for acceptance, but there's a subtle sense of defiance in his singing.
The piano-driven album is full of beautiful melodies. A full orchestra builds up the climax in Last Party, and the singer's wide vocal range is on full display throughout the record.
Definitely Mika at his best.