The Top 50 Albums of Year 2010… #06 K£$HA “Animal/Cannibal”
06. K£$HA “Animal/Cannibal”
It was easy to fob K£$HA off as some over-produced and under-talented pop tart at the beginning of 2010. “TiK ToK” was her launching pad and as brilliant a pop song as I think it is now, it irritated the living shit out of me when it first surfaced. In fact, at the very start of The Kesha’s career, I was quick to jump aboard the hate speech train. But then she released her album “Animal”, and I was surprised at how fantastically produced it was, and how excellent Kesha’s comical timing was throughout. This is a pop star who seems to get the gist of how to combine excellent pop music and a trashy-but-commendable image with lyrics that, in some places, do a better job at self-parody than the people making fun of her all over YouTube.
Then in the latter half of the year, Kesha upped the ante with Animal’s counterpart, “Cannibal”, a nine-track EP of sorts that showed an alarming growth as a polished pop star. The songs on Cannibal are stronger, more of a step-forward for Kesha while still keeping the elements of what made ‘Animal’ sell in the first place. She’s a loveable skank, and she’s singing about it quite wickedly. Animal serves as the introduction, where as Cannibal seals the deal with its tougher pop hooks, bigger choruses and funnier, biting lyrics. I was on board for Kesha upon Animal’s release, but when Cannibal came along, I was a fully fledged fan.
The EP’s lead single, “We R Who We R”, is this excitingly euphoric celebration of exactly the kind of pop star Kesha is: She’s sick of being so serious – it’s making her brain delirious! In the same breath, she’s selling her clothes and hitting on dudes while applying glitter to her eyelids. In “Sleazy” she echoes the sentiments of so many of my beloved, drunken friends, when she announces she’s not one to buy drinks when she’s out; she brings them – and she’s more than likely to pick up your unfinished drink when you get up and leave it. Classy; and a great recipe for date rape!
The Kesha philosophy is perhaps at its strongest on “Crazy Beautiful Life”, when she sings “I just hope some people see, there’s nothing that I’m trying to be. Let me just stop, all the shit-talk – I know I’m the new bitch on the block. I’ve been through my sketchy phases, been broke, been a shitty waitress, but I’m not now – guess it worked out! Got here by runnin’ my mouth.” It’s also a backhanded notification to those sipping on haterade when it comes to her career that she’s paid her dues.
From the original album, “Take It Off” still serves as her best moment, an obvious ode to glory holes (“there’s a hole in the wall, and there’s glitter on the floor,”) and while moments like “The Harold Song” and “Stephen” would have served better on the cutting room floor, there’s enough spread out over this mega-album to warrant its placing so high in my end of year chart.
It’s not life-changing, nor does it battle the serious issues – but thank goodness for it. What makes it – and Kesha in general – even better is that it’s not trying to be any of those things either. But what it is is a LOT of fun, and that in itself is a feat most can’t achieve with their albums.
The Kesha’s not going anywhere, and I’m very glad of it.