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MIKA Knows Popular in Single “Popular Song”

Posted by Kayla Tooma on 06/26 at 04:11 PM

Easily one of my favorite pop artists, British singer MIKA always seems to come out with fun, creative, visually appealing music videos for his poppy, sometimes deceivingly happy-go-lucky songs.

Following his last two singles, “Underwater” and “The Origin of Love,” - which are perhaps two of his most mature and impressive tracks to date (and my personal favorites) - is his latest single and video, “Popular Song,” from his latest album The Origin of Love. In this track, MIKA moves from declarations of magnificent love and moving music to high school bullies and some serious pop sounds.

The song borrows sounds and lyrics from the song “Popular” which is originally from the musical Wicked.  Interestingly, MIKA takes the original song and flips its meaning on its head.  In the musical, the song is sang by beautiful, blonde, and popular girl Glinda, who is singing to the green, strange Elphaba that she can change her and turn her into a popular girl too.  MIKA takes the song back to his high school days of being bullied and recalling those who picked on him.  Unlike the original show tune, it is the ‘uncool’ kid singing to the popular crowd about being true to oneself and how it will lead to later happiness and success.

He sings “always on the look out for someone to hate/Picking on me like a dinner plate/I hid during classes and in between them/Dunk me in the toilets, now it’s you that cleans ‘em.”

However, the video features a different version of the song than from the album verison.  On the album, Priscilla Renea is featured, it has a slower tempo, and even has a slight hip hop vibe (I said SLIGHT hip hop vibe).  The video version of the song features Ariana Grande instead, is faster, and is far more ‘pop’ than the original.  Also, Ariana’s voice tends to drown out MIKA’s at many points with oversinging, whereas Priscilla’s compliments his voice. Further, the final verse is excluded from the video version.

Check out the official music video here:

Although I strongly prefer the original album version, and so do the majority of those who commented on YouTube, the video is so much fun to watch!  It is reminiscent of a Tim Burton film— shadowy, avant-garde costumes, and lots of dark makeup.

Check out the original recording here:

{name} Author: Kayla Tooma
Bio: Kayla Tooma is a senior majoring in English at Penn State. She hails from the great island of Long Island, NY. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing piano, reading medieval literature, watching unhealthy amounts of space documentaries, and making some kind of lame pun. Her favorite genres include a variety of rock, pop, indie, and metal. Some of her favorite artists include My Chemical Romance, Lana Del Rey, Queen, MIKA, No Doubt, Lady Gaga, HIM, The Smiths, The Jane Austen Argument, The Beatles, Beirut, The Dresden Dolls, and The White Stripes. She also has a sweet spot for pop goddesses like Cher, Madonna, and Britney Spears.


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