Sunday, January 17, 2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Kesha's "Animal"

The Cali native has a rep for being...well, the polar opposite of Taylor Swift. She's a potty mouth with a sick sense of humor and an even sicker sense of style. But when I heard her first single "Tik Tok" on "Melrose Place," I knew it was a party song I needed to download immediately. I listened to it maybe 8 times that first night, trying to memorize the lyrics. That's so high school, I know. But two weeks ago her debut album Animal hit iTunes, and ever since I heard her first single in September, I was pretty sure that she'd magically disappear before she even made a blip on anyone's radar, as most party song makers do. Then her single became the first #1 song of the year (and the decade) and she started breaking records, so I decided to listen to her new album and see if she has anything else to offer.

Surprise, surprise, rave music isn't all she can dish out. There are a few ballads and techno-type beats, but her main theme seems to be tongue-in-cheek lyrics and slightly lewd comments.

Much like Pink and, most recently, Lady Gaga she does role-reversal, so that she isn't the prey but the hunter in this love game. A perfect example of that is in "Blah Blah," where she says:
I don't really care where you live at
Just turn around boy and let me hit that
Don't be a little bitch with your chit chat
Just show me where your dick's at
The song is basically about having trouble anonymously hooking up at a club, because the guy is either too talkative or too drunk. It's like she's profanely stating that sometimes you just want a guy to shut up and kiss you already. Granted, maybe not everyone would say it this way, but it's definitely entertaining and a fresh perspective from the countless Top 100 tracks that chronicle rejection and unrequited love.

Along with that track, I've kept "Backstabber" on replay. It's not only a stellar dance song, but an awesome anthem for any girl who's been betrayed by her bff. Singing along with the words might be cathartic, even for someone in their 20s who thought that they were finally free from The Hill's-like teen drama that once muddied their lives. This is what I would imagine Lily Allen would sound like if she were born American.

I'd also recommend "Your love is my drug," her idea of an ode to a guy she's interested in, "Dancing with tears in my eyes," which has the best beat even though it's actually a solemn slow song, and the title track "Animal," which is more for Euro pop lovers. I'll admit some songs might be a bit too lyrically juvenile for some...or just me. If that's the case, then steer clear from "Party at a Rich Dude's House" (enough said), "Dinosaur" (talking about a pervy old dude), and "Boots & Boys" (sigh).

Kesha should have no problem shopping these songs around for soundtrack consideration to TV shows and movies that chronicle teen angst. I'm impressed she co-wrote all the songs herself. People might get the idea that she's manufactured to be this wild personality that shakes things up, like Avril was in the time of Britney and Christina. But if she can keep cranking out ball-busting tracks that are as feminist as Swift is sweet, then she might actually transcend the hype. To do that though, she's going to have to prove that she can sing and she's going to have to do it live. "Hungover" would probably be the best-bet for that. It sounds like she's comparing a broken heart to the emptiness of being hungover, which is probably how a party girl feels when she finds herself falling for someone she only intended to be a one-night stand.

So what do you think?


  1. Feminist? Is that your definition of being a childish whore? Just because a woman goes around screaming about how awesome she is, she is a feminist? She's not fit to lick my boots. The guy working behind the bar at this pub I was in said "It's made by slags, for slags." It deserves no more appraisal than that. Truly, truly terrible.

  2. I enjoyed the review... and wonder about people who hurl obscenities at other people who use obscenities? And of course 'culloi' hasn't even listened to the album... Doesn't take much originality to be a 'hater'.

  3. i like metal and rock basically, so i wondered what attracts me in Ke$ha's music and why i can't stop listening. After some days i think it must be the minor-keys that many of her songs have, like TikTok, Backstabber, Boots & Boys, Take It Off, Blah Blah Blah. Ke$ha is the best i heard in years from a genre that i don't even really like.

  4. I have mixed feelings about Kesha.

    Firstly, nowadays, women have to sing about sex to sell records. If Gaga was around 10 years ago she wouldn't have needed to sex it up.

    Beyonce was sexy 10 years ago... but she wasn't half as sexual as she has to be to compete now.

    I loved Kesha's beats and talent but I felt guilty for listening to something so vacuous and vapid.

    Now I hear she is making more of a statement - which is mirroring the way guys speak to women back to them, I'm getting over my prejudice and liking her a lot.

    "By slags for slags"... yet, what do you think about songs like PIMP? Or Put a Bitch in Her Place by Snoop Dogg...

    Guess you wouldn't be so quick to jump on them for their whorishness... the double-standard still persists.

    Xtina tried a similar movement 10 years ago, but it never really stuck. Kesha might succeed more because while she doesn't have anywhere near as much vocal talent, she is lyrically very very good.

  5. If you like Kesha and Gaga, then you should check out this artist. Her name's Jessica Johnson and her music is DOPE. I heard her music on Jango radio and have been following her ever since. Check the website:

  6. Author,why would you want to memorize Tik-Tok?

    "Tik Tok on the clock.."
    that's where I stopped. I actually had to pull my car over the first time I heard it to curse out the radio station that dared play it. I've seen djs at kids parties playing Tik-TOK and not play Katy Perry's I kissed a girl. I love hearing 9 year-olds singing " before I leave, I brush my teeth with a bottle of jack'

    What's more disturbing than kesha's SNL performance, is watching society selecting and excepting music. Actually, it's all equally scary. lol