I spent my Saturday listening to No Place In Heaven trying to choose my favorites. Nothing helps my mood and takes me out of my own, sometimes too little circles like listening to Mika’s music and I love it how serious the new album is and how it helps me to focus on important.
I already have my own routine with the album. I always listen to Last Party separated from the other songs, it’s such a piece of art on its own. This wasn’t originally my own decision. My iTunes simply plays Last Party from a different file than the rest of the album (I got it in advance after pre-ordering the album) so it’s not included in the album file. I’m fine with that. It’s passionate, depressive and so strong that the best way to listen to it (at least for me) is to focus on it as a song and not as a part of an album.
It must be my all time favorite Mika song if anything can ever be more favorite than acoustic Relax. It’s everything I want. I love the melody and the structure of the song and enjoy how it grows and gets more powerful towards the end. I love the lyrics and that there’s a story behind, even it’s a tragic one. There’s one or two tiny moments when I feel a small interruption with the lyrics and I like even that because I always look for something tiny out of place.
There are two more songs I prefer listening as individual songs: Porcelain and Les baisers perdus, both among my favorite songs on the album. Porcelain because it’s so fragile. I don’t want to mix the mood with any other song. Les baisers perdus because it’s so special and I like the moment when I listen to it. I can’t understand French but I love the idea behind this charming song and find the atmosphere incredibly sad and incredibly beautiful.
I start my proper album listening with Promiseland simply because it’s the easiest way to reach the Mika mood and because it has the same spirit and energy I fell in love in him so many years ago. It reminds me of Rain and it’s not a sad but incredibly determined instead with the message “I’ve had enough, you can’t treat me like this”. I love the determination and Promiseland is the first song I listen to every single time I listen to the whole album and I always think it would be perfect as an opening song at gigs.
After Promiseland it’s a turn for No Place In Heaven which is by far the most touching song on the album. I’m not religious and according to Mika’s own words the song is not written only to Father in heaven but also to his own father (if I got the interview right). I think he is showing the child in him – with all his fears – in this song and it was a huge surprise because I’ve always thought he doesn’t feel comfortable being this direct and rather says things more indirectly or hidden instead. Even his voice describes a child talking to his father and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it this soft.
If he wants to define the album with words “open” or “direct” No Place In Heaven is definitely the right choice for the title song. I literally cry every time I hear the song and find it both the most moving and the most important song on the album.
After No Place In Heaven I jump to Hurts which is (for me personally) almost equally important song on the album. Not sure if it’s because of the beautiful melody/the piano or because I can so well relate to the song and the lyrics. There’s a hint of “boy band sound” in it but I ignore it and definitely put the song high on my personal top song list.
These two songs are not only incredibly beautiful but also extremely emotional so after listening to No Place In Heaven and Hurts it’s time for something uplifting like Good Wife and Rio.
Good Wife is a balanced song and no matter how many times I listen to it I simply can’t find a tiniest thing out of place in it, it goes smoothly from the beginning to the end. It’s such a great song. The biggest reason why it’s not on my personal top3 list is that Mika is singing it as an outsider – watching the situation from outside – and I’m listening to it as an outsider – not relating to it – so it doesn’t touch me the same way some other songs on the album do. I still always enjoy it and people generally seems to like it a lot so I hope it will be on his regular set list.
Good Wife is clever and somehow cheerful even melancholic so it’s a suitable step before Rio which is the most comforting song on the album. Not the best or the most beautiful or my biggest favorite, just the most comforting. I’m not going to Rio. I don’t even want to go there right now but if I wanted I could do it. At least some day. Get lost and find an alter ego there. It’s a comforting thought, isn’t it?
Those are my favorites and the ones I listen to most at home but I’m looking forward to hearing also other new songs at gigs! As an album this is my favorite Mika album so far. Not a bad way to go. I feel I love his music more than ever and I’m still amazed that his new music is this direct and open. X