Of the five released singles from MIKA’s new album, “My Name Is Michael Holbrook”, our song of the day today, “Tiny Love”, might be the one that can stand on its own the best. Because of that, it’s the one we’d recommend you listen to first if you’re on the fence about whether to give “My Name Is Michael Holbrook” a shot.
This week, just like the last few, we’ll be looking mostly at the new songs and albums that have recently been released. As we move through the week, we’ll also be sure to give shout outs to one or two classic songs for a little added variety.
Our song of the day today, “Tiny Love”, is the only single you need to listen to for a good idea of what the album is about. But before we get too far into the song itself, let’s take a quick look at what we know about the album so far.
My Name Is Michael Holbrook
“My Name Is Michael Holbrook” is MIKA’s fifth studio album, released on October 4 through Casablanca and Republic Records. A total of five singles were released for the album between the end of May and September this year. These were, in order: “Ice Cream”, “Tiny Love”, “Sanremo”, “Dear Jealousy”, and “Tomorrow”.
With this album, MIKA returns to the essence of his earlier releases, projecting an almost overwhelming amount of positive energy. Much of the album has to do with themes of love, sexuality, and identity. Although, while “My Name Is Michael Holbrook” may be MIKA’s most personal album, it also manages to be perhaps his most universal, funnily enough.
Although “My Name Is Michael Holbrook” is mostly positive in tone, some tracks explore some darker themes and tones. In the full context of the album, these tracks do a better job of serving as a palate cleanser for the next upbeat tune than anything else. At the most, they serve as reminders that not everything can be ice cream and rainbows all the time.
“Tiny Love” is the opening track for MIKA’s “My Name Is Michael Holbrook”. After listening to it, I think you’ll agree that there isn’t a better place for it. While the love MIKA sings about in this song is tiny, the song itself goes for a larger than life, bombastic feel. You can hear the strong Freddie Mercury influences in nearly every note and measure of this track. This similarity was so strong, in fact, that I half-expected to hear Brian May’s clean guitar tone coming through for a solo halfway through (there actually is a short one, but not by May, unfortunately).
The song starts out slow and quiet, with nothing but MIKA and his piano. But after a thirty second intro, the energy quickly builds into a driving rhythm that propels itself into the bombastic chorus. It’s the transitions mostly that remind me so strongly of Queen. And occassionally, MIKA’s tone and inflection sounds so close to Freddie Mercury that it’s almost scary. Instead, “Tiny Love” stands as a fantastic tribute to Mercury musically, as well as undoubtedly a song that no one but MIKA could make.
In the lyrics to MIKA’s “Tiny Love”, he describes a love that defies the typical, over-romanticized ideas seen over and over in love songs and stories alike.
“It’s not a sunrise over canyons shaped like hearts
It isn’t bursting into song in Central Park
We may be tiny to the world, but in our hearts
We be giants with our tiny, tiny love”
Later in the song, MIKA weaves in some personal information, while also including the album’s title.
“My name is Michael Holbrook
I was born in 1983
No, I’m not losing my mind
It’s just this thing that you do to me”
While I haven’t listened to the whole album yet, I already know that “Tiny Love” will be one that requires repeated listens. Not because it’s a song that’s difficult to understand, but because it’s just so darn enjoyable to listen to. Also, I’m a big fan of both Queen and Freddie Mercury, and I really appreciate another artist paying them tribute, who’s skilled enough to actually match Mercury.
There’s also the music video to point out, which you can view above. It’s certainly a weird one with its use of imagery. But it still fits the song, and I find myself appreciating when music videos take interesting creative directions. Keeps you on your toes.
That about does it for our discussion today. I hope you enjoyed listening to and learning a bit about MIKA’s “Tiny Love”. We’ll be back tomorrow with another song to help get you through the week.