Kesha is bratty, she always looks a little dirty, and she performs live with Auto-Tune (see the American Music Awards).
She would wear garbage bags as clothes if she could, and she's been pictured with only semen covering her chest. She's not exactly the classiest or most talented artist out there, and if you could call her a love-her-or-hate-her singer, it's almost certain more people would hate her.
Yet the 23-year-old pop songstress is one of 2010's biggest music sellers. Her debut album, Animal, went platinum, and it spawned hit after radio hit. Perhaps one of her smartest moves of the past year was quickly following up the debut with an 8-song EP, Cannibal, released this week. If she's managed to cultivate a fan base, she might as well milk it for all it's worth while she's hot.
Cannibal is pretty much a continuation of Animal. Like her first effort, Dr. Luke was behind the boards for Cannibal, producing that electro pop stuff he's so good at. And like listeners are used to, Kesha continued her sing-song rap style, which you can already hear in her first single, "We R Who We R" and the new single "Blow". Kesha has a formula--sing-song rap, a little bit of belting, electronic, catchy beats and sassy lyrics--and she's sticking to it since it's worked out so well so far.
The disc opens with the eerie title track, where Kesha sings about literally eating boys up and drinking their blood--there is even a Jeffrey Dahmer reference in there. It's fun yet gross (sort of like Kesha herself), and it's not a stretch from Animal at all. You've got a couple slower songs on the album, too, where Kesha's singing voice is actually quite pretty, such as on "The Harold Song" and "C U Next Tuesday".
She also addresses her newfound fame, after a past life of poverty. On "Crazy Beautiful Life," she unapologetically sings about how much fun it is to party after living a crummy life (including being a waitress), and the track is actually fresh because of it's honesty. She admits she partially got famous due to running her mouth, and she owns her niche in the pop world.
And then the trashy Kesha comes out to play, too. On "Grow a Pear," she doesn't hold anything back, rapping, "I just can't date a dude with a vag." Yes. She says "vag" in a song.
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The best track on the album (and it better be her next single) is "Sleazy," a hypnotic, hip-hop laced track about preferring cheap things over fancy ones. As a low male voice commands "get sleazy," Kesha sassily raps and sings over the jungle vibe. It would have been smart to have made this the lead single, since it's also the biggest departure from her previous material, and it's a refreshing song on the EP.
Fans of Kesha's previous material will eat up Cannibal. But for people with a glimmer of hope that she might have evolved somehow as an artist, the EP is not worth checking out. As someone who loves to dance in her car and in the clubs, Cannibal is on heavy rotation for me already.