Ke$ha | Cannibal

RCA (2010)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 7, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars


As club banger "Blow" crescendos, incendiary brat and cultural irritant Ke$ha intones, "We are taking over — get used to it!" If this possibility sends a shiver down your spine, understand that the effect is entirely intentional on her part. Let's take it as a given that her music is immaculately produced, with Dr. Luke and company filling all nine of these tunes to the gills with hooks, propulsion, and a stuttering rave assault of at times blinding energy. Let's also put aside any debate about the sass and steez of Ke$ha herself: here she steps up her game from last year's full-length, appropriating the rat-a-tat-tat attack of Uffie and Millionaires in a manner that renders both competitors, along with all others in the current diva-pop sweepstakes, instantly irrelevant. Instead, consider how Ms. K-Dolla is an intentional antagonist, setting up a continuing us-vs.-you situation where she will always have the youth vote. Trashy, brassy, slutty, and pugilistic, her songs are sung from the perspective of the Royal We, whether with the "I'm Coming Out"–lifting anthemic heft of "We R Who We R" or the tribal anti-bourgeois bounce of "Sleazy." "We're dancing like we're dumb," she sings on the former, whereas on the latter she boasts that "this beat's so fat, it's gonna make me come" — two lines that pound into your skull her single-minded pursuit of whatever the tween-female-millennial equivalent of "blood, guts, and pussy" is. It's music designed to make you feel old or young, depending on which side of its dog-whistle litmus test you fall on. As for me, I can feel my IQ slipping a few notches with the passage of each track on this disc, and gloriously so: it takes brains and balls to make pop this smart sound so dumb.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Pop, Millionaires, Ke$ha,  More more >
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