The party don't stop when it comes to backing up lyrics
Ke$ha comes on like a well-worn worst nightmare, her manicure chewed and her morals thoroughly compromised.
The 22-year-old music industry brat — her mom's a songwriter who raised her family in studios and dives from Los Angeles to Nashville — has irritated some critics by reinvigorating the "Girls Gone Wild" sexual recklessness of a few years back, but really her act reaches much further.
She's a classic screwball blond, brassy like Jean Harlow and saucy like Mae West. Hating Ke$ha for kicking pretty boys to the curb and vomiting in the closet of some rich kid (allegedly Paris Hilton) whose party she crashed is like saying West was too forward when she told Cary Grant to come up and see her sometime.
What makes Ke$ha interesting, though, isn't the substance of her act. It's the way she and her producers — primarily her mentor, hitmaker Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald — refashion the screwball heroine role to suit a new era of aggressive superficiality and libertine self-empowerment.
The main lyrical idea behind "Animal" — that a woman behaving like a sexist, inconsiderate male oaf turns the tables in a way that shocks but ultimately leads to freedom — is neither new nor particularly useful. But unlike many of the pop ingenues who've tried on this attitude, Ke$ha offers a thoroughly fleshed-out character to embrace or despise.
Her total commitment to the deliberately stupid script of "Animal" (one that she and her mother, who co-wrote several songs, helped devise) makes it work.
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