Album Review: Ke$ha "Animal"

Drugs. Parties. Booze. Strippers. Vomiting. Sex. Glitter. Clothes. Boys. Cat-fights. Hangovers. Parties. Parties. Parties....

Ke$ha delves into some pretty profound subject-matter on her debut effort, Animal. Take one quick look at the album art and track titles and you pretty much get it-- Ke$ha is a glitter-dawning party girl who can hold her alcohol, and who loves to p.a.r.t.y. until she "sees the sunlight."

While she might be drawing premature comparisons to her Majesty, Lady Gaga herself, Ke$ha has a lot to prove before we shuffle her into the same deck as Queen Gaga. For one, Ke$ha has yet to prove she can actually carry a tune; while she definitely possesses more vocal agility than say, Britney Spears, how much of that is purely auto-tune is yet to be determined.

Speaking of auto-tune, I was honestly surprised Ke$ha didn't include it in the credits, or at least give it a shout-out in her "thank you" blurb! Never has auto-tune been utilized so... fervently. And in my opinion, I don't believe it's because she can't sing, but because she's unabashed in her commitment to produce sparkle-electro-dance-pop-audio-candy (I made that up just now).

And I must confess: there are some pretty delicious sensory snacks on this album. Again, auto-tune is put to work on nearly every track, but with lyrics so tart and memorable, it's hard not to enjoy this for what it really is: pop music at its trashiest. Take the lead single, "Tik Tok," as a prime example of something Ke$ha does well-- we've heard about a bajillion songs about dancing and partying, but Ke$ha's lyrics and quirky delivery bring a bit of a flare, a freshness to such trite subject-matter.

"Your Love Is My Drug" and "Kiss 'n' Tell" could have easily found themselves on a Disney pop princess release, but Ke$ha takes the same catchy hooks and bouncing melodies and splatters them with her glitter-gun, including R-rated messages like, "I never thought that you would be the one, acting like a slut when I was gone... You really should've kept it in your pants..." or "My friends think I've gone crazy, my judgment's getting kinda hazy, my speech is gonna be effected, if I keep it up like a love-sick crack head." Pure poetry!

Even the beat-infused ballads retain her trademark party-girl imagery, but offer a surprising emotional resonance. "Hungover," to pick out just one of the more serious songs on the album, is less about alcohol and more about a broken heart. Ke$ha's voice (auto-tuned or not) soars over the chorus, lamenting, "Now my heart is broken, like the bottles on the floor." Again, Ke$ha proves she can pen a fresh pop track, and, at times, even delivers a few pleasant surprises (most notably, the title track, "Animal," easily one of the best songs on the album and a pretty fantastic pop song, and "Take It Off," a beat so fierce it will leave you in a dance-induced trance, to be sure).

All in all, Animal is a solid debut from America's new favorite party animal (a title Ke$ha would be honored to bear) and offers some welcome creativity to an otherwise predictiable genre. This piece of pop-candy is just as you'd expect candy to be: sticky, sweet, addicting, but in the end, probably not that good for you. But let's face it-- we eat it anyway.

Tracks to buy: "Your Love Is My Drug," "Tik Tok," "Take It Off," "Hungover," & "Animal"
Rating 7.5/10


hun*ter said...

No song better describes guilty pleasure than "Tik Tok". I decry its horrible horrible horrible lyrics while singing along. We kick 'em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger...I don't know how I feel about that.

Chase said...

And that's where Ke$ha scores some points with me; as horrible and classless as her lyrics may be, at least they are different and appropriately dysfunctional. You know she's speaking from experience when she sings, "Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack-- When I leave for the night I ain't comin' back." And for that, she earns a sliver of my respect.

AmyHatesPeople!YesThatMeansYou;) said...

I like her! She is great club music. And who hasnt stayed out all night and came home a little bit tipsy-ok so no need to answer that question. I like Boots and Boys! Thanks for your reviews they seem to be helpful.

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