No Place in Heaven is Mika’s first album in three years. It’s also custom-built to get the singer back in the upper reaches of the UK chart (his last hit single was We Are Golden, back in 2009).
That’s no slur: As his first album, 2007’s Life in Cartoon Motion, proved, the extravagantly-coiffured Lebanese singer does pure pop better than most and his return is a most welcome one.
If there’s any justice in the world, No Place… will surely earn him the chart success he deserves. Single Talk About You is hewn from the same rock as his breakthrough hit Grace Kelly, and it’s encouraging to hear a gay mainstream pop singer making no bones about his sexuality on tracks like Good Guys and the title track (“I was a freak since seven years old… there’s no place in heaven for someone like me”).
Other songs register a firm doo-wop influence and at times he’s ploughing a similar furrow as Bruno Mars; the difference is that when Mika does emotive balladry, on the outstanding Last Party, Ordinary Man and Hurts, there’s a very real feeling that he’s singing from the heart.
Like this? Try these: Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops and Hooligans; George Michael, Faith
By Andrew Greenhalgh