She’s a poster girl for youth gone wild, as annoying as she is charming.
Fraser McAlpine 2010
Anyone who has enjoyed the woozy charms of Ke$ha’s global hit Tik Tok, or the equally pie-eyed follow-up Blah Blah Blah may find themselves wondering if she can sustain her drunk girl shtick for an entire album.
The fact that there’s a song here called Party at a Rich Dude’s House will not alleviate this concern one bit.
Actually, it’s not that bad. The musical extremes on offer here can be mapped out in a triangle, with Kelly Clarkson at one corner, Princess Superstar in another, and Fergie in the third. So you get rocked-up songs about being a dirty stop-out; poppy dance songs about being a dirty stop-out; and power ballads about feelings.
The revelation is that Ke$ha can really properly sing, and she does. Stephen, a vulnerable ode to an unreliable crush, begins with beautiful layered a cappella harmonies. Sure, it tumbles into clunky pop straight afterwards, but then, that also seems to be what she does: beautiful things are bashed against ugly things, pretty melodies ruined by silly noises, emotional lyrics stuffed with buzzwords.
Brilliantly, the most heartfelt moment on the album, the huge ballad which shows off her impressive bellow off to its best advantage, and the song which should take her furthest from her infamous party animal persona, is called Hungover.
Clever and stupid, in equal measure: that’s the Ke$ha way.
Best of all is D.I.N.O.S.A.U.R., which could’ve been especially created to drive rock-bores into a state of spluttering fury. It is made of nothing but sugar and sass and additives, a song from a young girl to an older man who is attempting to pick her up in a club. All she has to offer him is a scattergun spray of insults, and cutie-pie whistling. It’s childish and Parental Advisory Required at the same time, and is going to infuriate any adult within hearing range.
That’s basically what Ke$ha is for. She’s a poster girl for youth gone wild, and to do that properly, you’ve got to be as annoying as you are charming. She does it properly.