Sloppy Pop Star Stays In the Trash

Ke$ha
Cannibal
RCA

Ke$ha takes pride in the knowledge that her music is only bearable after a bout of dental hygiene with Jack Daniels, and Cannibal, her follow up to last year’s inexplicably successful Animal, is no exception.

As usual, Ke$ha unapologetically vomits crude lines, penning charming lyrics that rhyme “famous” with “anus.” She takes her honesty to a new level, however, on the title track “Cannibal,” in which she describes her impulse to eat boys — “Silence of the Lambs” style — in gory detail. Lady GaGa may rock the meat dress, but Ke$ha wants her man’s “liver on a platter.”

Lyrically, there’s not much to look forward to in Cannibal’s artless wisecracks and (almost) shocking declarations. Emasculating men seems to be a common theme on the album, as Ke$ha warns her guy to stop acting like a woman in “Grow a Pear.” Ke$ha is blunt as ever, this time asserting, “I just can’t date a dude with a vag.”

Most songs on the album have electronic influences, with pulsating drumbeats and an overabundance of auto-tune. The singer and production team — which includes hit makers Dr. Luke and Max Martin, among others — attempt to replicate the success of Animal by overloading monstrous hooks; sure, they may be less complex than a midi file, but they’re guaranteed to make this album a dance club staple.

One surprise is the song “C U Next Tuesday,” a slower number that sounds like a synth jam straight out of the ‘80s. It has the electro-rhythms to almost make you sing along unironically, but sadly, Ke$ha just doesn’t have the skills to pull it off. Coming from her, this attempt at a serious track seems like a big joke.

In the end, Ke$ha is Ke$ha. You can’t expect much more from her than a couple new hot mess anthems. When she’s really on her game, she can turn her ridiculousness into the rager of the year. Take Cannibal’s first single, “We R Who We Are,” a track where Ke$ha turns a chronicle of her wild lifestyle into a moment of self-affirmation with the battle cry “We’re dancing like we’re dumb.” It’s Ke$ha at her best: wildly entertaining and absurd at the same time. (5/10)

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