Rolling Stone - p.783 stars out of 5
-- "Mika's faith in the campy excess of Freddie Mercury/Elton John-style pomp pop is bracing."
Spin - p.82
"[H]e rewrites the hooks from your parents' favorite Bon Jovi/Belinda Carlisle hit into earnest proclamations of teenage eccentricity..."
Entertainment Weekly - p.70
"[I]t's a Technicolor pop explosion designed for throwing your jazz hands into the air." -- Grade: A
Billboard (p.53) - "[T]his Beirut-born singer comes back strong with another set of over-the-top anthems that proves no one's more entitled to inherit Freddie Mercury's glam-god crown."
Q (Magazine) - pp.106-1074 stars out of 5
-- "This is a bold, daring and vibrant album....He is undoubtedly a star of the old school -- and a rare one at that."
Personnel: Lyle Workman, Tim Pierce (guitar); Owen Pallett (violin); Paul Buckmaster (strings); Dan Higgins, Gary Grant, Jerry Hey (horns); Imogen Heap (keyboards, drums, programming, background vocals); Walter Afanasieff (keyboards, percussion, programming); Matt Chamberlain (drums, percussion); Cherisse Osei (drums); Dan Rothchild, Alex Miller (background vocals).
Recording information: Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA; Olympic Studios, London, England; Rocket Carousel Studios.
Illustrators: Claire Bushe; DaWack ; Zuleika Penniman; Sophie Blackall; Richard Hogg; Sophie Blackall; Mika.
Making an album even more vibrant than LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION would have been difficult for Mika. On THE BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, he doesn't try to top himself; instead, he reins in just enough of his debut's indulgent tendencies to let his gift for great melodies and hooks be the focus. Rather than cramming songs with moments intended to impress that end up being overwhelming, "Dr. John"'s finger-popping minor fall and major lift and the calypso-tinged "Blue Eyes" are impressive because they're so direct. While CARTOON MOTION was engaging, occasionally it felt like Mika was more skilled at pastiche than presenting his own sound. Here, he and producer Greg Wells fashion songs that sound truly distinctive. Though touches of inspirations like Elton John, the Bee Gees, and the Scissor Sisters still pop up, the musician Mika borrows from most on THE BOY WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is himself.