Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group
Popular musical acts using string (and sometimes orchestral) arrangements in their songs is nothing new in the music industry today. It is a practice that has been going on as far back as one can recall. However the actual performance of a popular musical act with orchestral organization isn’t so new. It wasn’t until the past twenty years or so that audiences started to see any major musical act join forces with an orchestra for a live performance, let alone a recorded performance. Elton John has done it. So have Metallica and KISS. They are just some of the acts that have added an orchestra to their music for live performances. It goes without saying that there are quite a few more out there that have. One of that mass is pop star Mika’s new recording Sinfonia Pop. Mika (a.k.a. Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr.) recently released his new live orchestral recording. The recording is just the latest in a long line of accolades for the British-born singer-songwriter. Over the course of just four albums, Mika has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, and going Gold or Platinum in 32 countries. That is quite the resume. And this recording is sure to add to it as there is plenty to say to its positive beginning with its set list. That will be discussed shortly. The actual performance of the songs is just as important to note in this recording and will be discussed later. The interviews with both Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are equally important to the recording as the performance and its set list. Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation. Altogether they make Sinfonia Pop a solid live recording from the internationally known pop star. They also show collectively why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.
Mika’s new live recording Sinfonia Pop is a solid live recording from the internationally renowned pop star. It is also more proof as to why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. This is due in part to the concert’s featured set list. The nearly two-hour concert runs twenty-one songs deep and lifts very liberally from all four of his current studio recordings. The most well represented of his albums is his 2007 debut Life in Cartoon Motion. It is represented by no fewer than 6 songs—‘Grace Kelly,’ ‘Love Today,’ ‘Relax (Take It Easy),’ ‘Any Other World,’ Happy Ending,’ and ‘Over My Shoulder.’ The Boy Who Knew Too Much is the least represented of Mika’s records here, with only two songs—‘Rain’ and ‘Toy Boy’—being pulled from that album. The Origin of Love is represented by a total of eight songs. They are ‘Origin of Love,’ ‘Stardust,’ ‘Make You Happy,’ ‘Underwater,’ ‘Overrated,’ ‘Love You When I’m Drunk,’ ‘Heroes,’ and ‘Elle me dit.’ Most interesting of those tracks is the last of them—‘Elle me dit.’ That is because this song was not included in the album’s standard release. It was included as a bonus track in the album’s French and Italian release. In other territories it was only included in the album’s deluxe edition. No Place In Heaven rounds out the concert’s set list. It is represented here by ‘Last Party,’ ‘Good Guys,’ ‘Ordinary Man,’ and ‘Boum Boum Boum.’ The latter of those tracks was only included in the album’s French and Italian release. So for many, getting to experience the song here, much as with ‘Elle me dit’ might actually be the first time hearing the song for many audiences. The concert’s opening ‘Overture’ is a completely new composition, bringing the total song count up to twenty-one. While the chosen set list is itself extensive, the process of picking out songs for the concert was just as interesting to learn about. That is discussed by conductor Simon Leclere n the recording’s bonus interviews. It will be discussed later. Staying on the topic at hand, the concert’s set list is extensive to say the very least. Two of Mika’s albums were obviously far more represented than the other two. Regardless, he did include some a pair of exclusive songs in his performance here from those two lesser represented. That and the more represented albums combine to make the show’s set list an important part of the recording’s presentation in its own right. It is not the only important element of the recording’s presentation, either. Mika’s performance, and that of the orchestra, are just as important to note here as the show’s set list.
The set list that is featured in Mika’s new live recording is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation. That is because it lifts from all four of his albums so far. It even includes a pair of songs that were only made available in exclusive editions of two of those albums, and an original composition in the concert’s opening ‘Overture.’ The end result is a set list that runs nearly two hours (an hour and forty-nine minutes to be exact) and twenty-one songs deep. It is just on of the recording’s most important elements. The actual performance by Mika and the orchestra is just as important to note in the recording’s presentation as its set list. The actual performance is so important to note because it stands out so starkly from the other mainstream/classical mash ups that are out there. It doesn’t come across as just another mainstream act performing in front of an orchestra. Instead at times it feels as if one is watching Mika and company performing numbers from some major musical stage production. Obviously they are not from said productions. But the arrangements, when coupled with Mika’s own powerhouse performance, makes each song feel (and sound) like it. That is a testament both to Mika’s own vocal talents and those of the musicians performing with him. Staying on that train of thought the orchestra members actually exhibit a certain enjoyment in performing just as much as Mika. That can’t exactly be said of some other orchestral groups who have performed with other well-known acts. In those cases it is obvious that the musicians in question are just going through the motions. The fact that the musicians in this orchestra were clearly enjoying themselves just as much as Mika, makes the performance that much more enjoyable to experience even in a home setting. On a side note, the performance in whole is powerful to say the very least. It sounds great on any standard hi-def monitor when the monitor is set to “Music” setting. Those with a home theater system will get an even more powerful experience. Keeping this in mind, it should be clear why the performance both by Mika and the orchestra is so important to this recording’s presentation. It still is not the recording’s last notable element. The bonus interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere is just as important to note here as the performance and the chosen set list.
The set list featured in Sinfonia Pop and the performance put on by Mika and the orchestra are both key in their own right to the recording’s presentation. The set list is so important to note because all four of Mika’s albums are represented here, even with a pair of exclusive songs. The performance by all involved comes across like a collection of songs from any number of major musical stage productions. Considering this, one could even see Mika performing in said musicals considering his vocal talents and the talents of the orchestra’s members. As important as both elements are to this recording’s presentation they are not its only important elements. The interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are just as important to the presentation as those previously noted elements. Audiences discover in Mika’s interview his incredible sense of humility. There is no sense of ego from him in listening to him talk. That’s just one of the interesting tidbits revealed in his interview. Audiences also learn the improbable way in which the concert came together. It’s quite the interesting story, too. It is centered on a simple mealtime discussion with another individual. The rest of the story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves. In regards to Leclere’s interview audiences learn that Leclere and Mika didn’t just sit down and pick out a few songs randomly for the concert. Rather Leclere notes in his interview that he actually went through the entirety of each of Mika’s albums in order to decide which songs would best translate to an orchestral situation. That attention to detail paid off quite well, too as is clear in the previously noted performance. It allowed Leclere to fully grasp and appreciate Mika’s music and develop arrangements that would not just compliment Mika’s songs but take them over the top. And take them over the top they most certainly did. It’s just one of the interesting items revealed in his interview. As with Mika’s interview, there is much more for audiences to take in here. Each interview ultimately proves to be important in its own right to Sinfonia Pop. Altogether they prove to be just as important to Sinfonia Pop’s presentation as its set list and featured performance. Collectively speaking, all three elements prove equally important to the recording’s presentation. They make this recording a solid, new live recording from the internationally acclaimed performer. Thy also show once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leading name in live recordings.
Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika. It is also more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. That is due in part to the concert’s featured set list. Neither Mika nor Eagle Rock’s reps wanted to give audiences just some random performance. It is a set list that lifts liberally from all four of Mika’s albums, thus giving audiences a rich experience, in terms of its songs. Mika’s performance of said set list and that of his fellow performers is just as important in showing this. The performance of all involved is akin to watching a major musical stage production. In all honesty it is just as entertaining. The interviews that were included in the recording are definitely deserving of being called bonuses. That is because of the information revealed in each interview. Each element is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation. That goes without saying. Collectively speaking, they show in whole why, again, Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika. They also show why once again Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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