take a light sprinkle of freddie mercury, add a dash of beck, mix with a drop of prince, a pinch of bolan, stir well eh voila! ladies and gentlemen, please meet mika. 'life in cartoon motion' is the debut album from musical virtuoso mika, the sort of goose-bump-brilliant star that british pop is in desperate need of right now, and who is being tipped as a major breakthrough artist for 2007. debonair, with a touch of degenerate dandy, mika has a stunning, you-wouldn't-believe-it life story (born in beirut, grew up in the war, a father held hostage in an embassy in kuwait, self-imposed exile in paris before settling in london) and you have the first chapter in a story that is destined to keep us enthralled for the foreseeable future. you may already be aware of his signature song, 'grace kelly', a sensational 4/4 opera set to a technicolour pop backdrop. the infectious pomp of 'grace kelly' became a benchmark for where mika wanted to go, with the results displayed in gloriously full effect on 'life in cartoon motion'. a songwriter, performer, producer and orchestrator, mika's songs combine a heady euphoric rush with darker unexpected elements: daytime melodramas and night-time tales of love, loss, abandonment, hope and happiness. the album also comes with some brilliant artwork created by mika himself. his pop debut finds the crosspoint between a baz luhrmann soundtrack and a classic seventies episode of top of the pops. cd only.