Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Plz Xplain: Ke$ha

"If I smear glitter on my face, you don't have a choice... you WILL be more attracted to me."
Ke$ha to Entertainment Weekly

It's ok. You can admit it. You liked 'Tik Tok.' Really, there's nothing to worry about. Everyone did. While some would like to write it off as a sign of the apocalypse, 'Tik Tok' served as the perfect introduction to the party-girl pop of Ke$ha. Just to clarify, I didn't actually deny that it was a sign of the apocalypse. Opening with an identity crisis ("Wake up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy"), the ensuing three and a half minutes of chaos offer you the finest piece of pop trash that you're likely to hear in 2010. She raps, she sings, she brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack. The less said about her taste in men, the better. Mick Jagger is old enough to be your grandfather young lady. That's just nasty. As you'd be well aware, her debut was a huge commercial success. It topped the charts in 11 countries which included a 9 week stay at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100, the most time spent at #1 for a debut single from a female artist in over 30 years.

With great success comes parody and comparison and Ke$ha received both in spades. Two hilariously amazing parodies of the 'Tik Tok' video came in the form of 'Glitter Puke' from The Key of Awesome (look out for the shot of her contract that states she must act like a drunken whore at all times) and more notably, The Midnight Beast's version, which turned them into an overnight sensation on YouTube. The latter parody would of course point out what we all had no choice but to think... Does she think she's Gaga? "Just Dance... Bad Romance... Now let's copy Poker Face like Oh-Wa-Oh-Oh." Lady-freaking-Gaga, the bane of female solo artists since 2008. Yes, you can find many similarities between the Queen of the Monsters and Ke$ha; they are both female (although some will argue against it), both have achieved incredible success upon their debut, both dabble in the realms of electronic pop. Each woman writes her own music and achieved limited success writing for and singing backing vocals for other artists before breaking it big. Notable themes for both revolve around the pursuit of fame and a desire for the glamorous, although they come at this from very different angles. Gaga is all about the Hollywood glamour. Ke$ha wants you to party with her at the local strip club. Gaga is Campari and the finest of champagnes. Ke$ha is that cheap, random vodka you settle for when you can't afford Smirnoff. In no way is what I'm saying trashing Ke$ha... I feel like she'd be in complete agreement! Ke$ha is of a completely different breed than Gaga and she's all the better for it.

What I want you to understand is Ke$ha is that fun party girl that any of us could know. She makes fun of herself and a very large section of the youth of today in virtually every music video and every song that she's released. Which brings us to our next topic, her subsequent single releases following 'Tik Tok.' They've been less than stellar. The lyrics in 'Blah Blah Blah' can potentially melt your brain. Guests 3OH!3 offer the most offensive line of the year with, "Coz I don't care who you are, in this bar, it only matters who I is." 'Your Love Is My Drug' followed soon after and would have been the better choice to come after 'Tik Tok.' Decent is probably the best word to describe it, but it didn't cause offence to the ears at any time. When she's actually singing, she gives off a bit of a Katy Perry vibe. Her latest single, 'Take It Off,' well... I feel like I'm laughing WITH her the whole time, so that's kind... of... good... right? I can't say I've actually spoken with anyone who's a fan, but it's her fourth top ten hit from her debut album, Animal. The possible problem here could be that we, being anyone over the age of 18, just aren't the real target audience here. The majority of Ke$ha's sales come in the form of paid digital downloads. Who downloads the most? Tweenagers. If you thought Gen X and Y were bad, wait until these kids grow up. Kidding. Kinda.

The real question is, where does she go from here? Sophomore albums are generally make or break for female artists. Will thunder strike twice? I'm going to be cautiously optimistic and say that there's no reason why it shouldn't. I know, I know, trash pop = bad. It's just that underneath all my snide remarks and witty jokes that would seem to be against her, I can't help finding myself rooting for her to succeed. She's the young American girl that's worked hard to realise her dream. Currently, she's on top of the world. Whether or not she can manage to stay there (or if she crashes in a spectacular fashion and becomes crazy-Ke$ha ala B.Spears) is what's really going to make her interesting.

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