Mika is looking for something, what that is exactly is still murky to me after listening to Life In Cartoon Motion, the British pop star's debut album, which goes on sale in the US today...but definitely something.

Mika offers in Life In Cartoon Motion a fusion of pop-cultures of recent times -- including campy Bee Gees lyrics, Elton John theatrical excess, and Scissor Sisters tomfoolery -- intricately woven into something entirely new, exciting, and uniquely his own.

The album's first single “Grace Kelly”, already a hit in the UK, ironically asks “Why don't you like me?” to a joyful piano harmony. “Grace Kelly” is full of faux self-contempt and wit, yet its uplifting spirit gives us reasons to dance. The single is definitely addictive. Also addictive is “Love Today” a big re-affirming disco chorus that offers campy feel good lyrics. Yet it's the melodrama of “Billy Brown” that gets all the attention due to its gay-inclusive lyrics:

Oh Billy Brown had lived an ordinary life.

Two kids, a dog, and a cautionary wife.

While it was all going according to plan

Then Billy Brown fell in love with another man.”

Just like that.

Yet don't be subdued into thinking Life In Cartoon Motion is all high-falsettos, disco-strobe lights, and feathered boas ala Scissor Sisters. OK, it is mostly, the live show even including a full circus act. But small glimpses full of deeper emotions can be found on the ballads “My Interpretation” and “Any Other World”. Again Mika asks about love and acceptance, is this what he's looking for? I'll let you decide.

"Love Today" by Mika

While Life In Cartoon Motion is Mika's first effort, the 22 year old has devoted much of his young life to musical labors. Mika grew up in London, the product of a Lebanese mother and an American father. They landed in London after living in Paris, which was after Beirut. All this turbulence caused great distress to our young hero. On his website, Mika talks about the experience, “It was the combination of moving as well as a horrible time I had at school in the first few years of living in London that lead me to forget how to read and write, and stop talking for a little while. I was pulled out of school for over six months; in order to sort my self out and find a new school. This is when music really became important. It got me back on my feet. After I started singing as a boy I started to get jobs everywhere. With the help of a terrifyingly tough Russian singing teacher, I got to be really good at professional gigs. I did everything from recordings with the Royal Opera House to the Orbit Chewing gum jingle.”

Mika was quickly listed on Rolling Stones “10 Artist to Watch” column after Life In Cartoon Motion was released in the UK on February 14th.

Click here to visit Amazon.com & hear samples from Life In Cartoon Motion