The Origin Of Love (2012)


The title song on Mika’s third album The Origin Of Love has a clear and direct message. Origin Of Love celebrates and defends love and wants to tell about it to the whole world no matter what people - or institutions like the church - say. Highlighting personal freedom and everyone’s right to love whoever their heart decides is an essential part of Mika’s music and something that defines him almost as much as Grace Kelly does.

You are the sun and the light / you are the freedom I fight / God will do nothing to stop it / The origin is you / You’re the origin of love

The Origin Of Love has love as the main theme. Songs on the album look at the emotion from different perspectives and I find that very thought-provoking. Usually the object is another person but we can also love our home, our country or life itself. Many people search for practical kind of love. They want someone suitable enough, someone to spend time with, someone with similar kind of interests. Some people want romantic gestures to feel special, some are mostly interested in the physical side of love. For some people love is a social game. They want to be successful, to have status and a good position in life.

Then there’s love like described in Underwater. Underwater kind of love carries us. As a song Underwater carries the whole album and if necessary any live performance as well. It can be close and intimate or it can be huge. With symphony arrangements it becomes literal. Underwater kind of love makes us do incredible things, metaphorically it gives us extra oxygen. It's the kind of love we don’t need to question, it's something we recognise when it comes to us. We don’t choose it. Like everything passionate in life, it chooses us. It makes us weak and it makes us strong. We are small in front of it and giant next to everything else.

Cause all I need is the love you breathe / put your lips on me and I can live / underwater

Underwater has all the other songs on the album grouped around it in a good and balanced way. The other songs are wonderful in their own way. One of my personal favourites on the album is Heroes. I will never forget how it felt to hear Heroes at Teatro Sociale Como when Mika's voice filled the venue during the symphony concert. The experience was stunningly beautiful. I couldn’t stop thinking what an amazing artist Mika is, what a masterpiece Heroes is and how much those both deserved circumstances exactly like that night.

After hearing many live performances it's difficult not to connect them to different songs on The Origin Of Love. After hearing a particularly intense gig version and a truly convincing symphony version of Make You Happy the first word to describe the song is honest. Many times the dance vibe is a dress around the song, making pop music is Mika’s way to tell us extremely personal stories. On The Origin Of Love that is obvious, the album is a mix of cheerful pop and honest observations of life and particularly love in it.

Maybe you can’t hear me / but I feel like screaming when you’re near me / save me from your theories / at the very least just let me cry on you

Each song on the album offers a different view on love. The mood goes from seducing in Lola to serious and adult in Kids, from disappointed in Stardust to theatrically dramatic in Overrated. In Step With Me the atmosphere is weirdly romantic, maybe that's the alcohol talking, and in Love You When I'm Drunk the wedding bells in the beginning of the song wake up to realise that sometimes  love is actually a lie and it's better understand it before it's too late.

I don't wanna be that guy / look you in the face and lie / someone has to say it first / even if the words may hurt / I only love you, I only love you I only love you, only love you, only love you when I'm drunk

The regular edition of The Origin Of Love has Emily in English but the French version Elle Me Dit from the French edition of the album has during time become the more known version of the song and a visible and important part of the setlist. Special edition tracks include also songs like Karen (heard at French gigs and on the symphony setlist in Montreal), Un Soleil Mal Luné and Ta Dah. All wonderful songs and deserve attention as much as the regular edition tracks. 

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