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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
Ke$ha- Animal
Uninspiring middle mars otherwise good debut album
Name: "Animal"
Label: RCA
Release Date: January 1, 2010
My rating: 4.2 out of 5

Review written by: Valerie Roder
After her feature in the hit song “Right Round,” Ke$ha, pop music's recent breakout artist, released her debut album, Animal, on January 5, 2010. Ke$ha is no stranger to the hard work needed to break into the industry.  Coming from meager beginnings, Ke$ha had to live out of her gold Trans Am while trying to make it in the industry.  She has come far from those times for her first single, "Tik Tok," now holds the record for being the most downloaded track in a one week period after selling over 610,000 digital copies. The rest of the album has potential to reach the same success level as her first single, for it is filled with the similar catchy tunes that have an electronica feel.

The album starts strongly with the upbeat tune, “Your Love Is My Drug,” and moves on to her hit single “Tik Tok,” which peaked at the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart.  The former discusses the obsession one can have with a love interest, and the latter describes the carefree lifestyle of a party animal.

“Take It Off” and “Kiss N Tell” are the next two tracks on the album and continue with upbeat theme found on the album.  “Take It Off” has a snake-charm tune mixed in the chorus; it describes an exclusive area where “the animal comes alive” and “the freaks all come to town.” “Kiss N Tell” discusses an incident when a love interest, or significant other, cheats and tells others about it.

Continuing through the album, “Stephen” discusses an elaborate fantasy a student has about a teacher. The track incorporate sexual sounds to enhance the vision of the song. The fifth track, “Blah Blah Blah” is a collaboration with 3OH!3, an electro-hop group similar to Kesha. The track conveys the uselessness of small talk before sexual relations. The track has received criticism by some for the extremely saucy and risqué lyrics, but still stands as a foot-tapping tune.

The seventh track, “Hungover,” and the eighth track, “Party at a Rich Dudes’ House” are two of the weaker tracks off the album. “Hungover” slows down the pace, and illustrates the feelings felt in a one-night stand relationship. The album picks back up with “Party At a Rich Dude’s House.”  The title explains all, and the song relates to events that occurred at a Hilton party K$sha attended. A little extraneous is the sound, and Ke$ha mainly yells to a tune.

“Backstabber,” the ninth track on Animal, another self explanatory song, describes a girl who backstabbed her friends who discover it all.  Another slow song, “Blind,” follows “Backstabber.” “Blind” has an ethereal vibe to it, and describes an affair relationship between a girl and a guy.  Picking up the album again, “Dinosaur” has a cheerleader vibe to it. Although a juvenile effort, “Dinosaur” again has the catchy vibe prominent throughout Ke$ha’s tunes.  The track describes the happenings when older men hit on young girls. 

Another electronic ballad follows, called, “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.” While the previous ballads were a miss, this one is surely a hit. “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes” describes the feelings post-breakup, which anyone in the dating scene can relate to. The pureness and emotion in Ke$ha’s voice is finally heard without overpowering background music. The next track, “Boots & Boys” relates new boots to boys, and her love for both.  Lyrically, it is one of the stronger tracks, with the extended metaphor being the deepest of the songs. But it was executed poorly.

The last song on the album “Animal” is another beautiful ballad about living life like its your last with the one you love. Again, her voice shines on this track, unlike most of the other songs where the music overpowers.

Overall, Ke$ha’s album starts and ends strongly, which creates for a memorable experience, but it is filled with mediocre songs in the middle. Ke$ha’s voice hides behind overexerted electronics and voice changers, so her true talent cannot be noted. Since vulgarity is present in her songs, Animal is not suitable for the younger audience. Her songs, however, will make listeners want to get up and dance. But if you are looking for substance without mindless lyrics about partying, affairs, or old men, this is not the album for you.
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