Your Love Is My Drug
"Maybe I need some rehab or maybe just need some sleep" really sets the tone for the album. However, the opening track is actually kind of sweet. "Your Love Is My Drug" is probably the closest thing to a straightforward pop song on "Animal". The production (courtesy of heavyweights like Dr Luke and Benny Blanco) bounces along happily, while Ke$ha's lyrics are surprisingly cute. I like the line about having "a slumber party in her basement"... on second thoughts that could be a really nasty metaphor! This is an obvious choice for the album's third single but I'd prefer "Animal", "Stephen" or "Kiss N Tell".
There isn't much to say about this polarising party anthem. I know a lot of people consider it juvenile trash but I think "Tik Tok" is a modern classic that will still be on high rotation at 40th birthday parties in 2030. Give the song's fabulous parody a listen. It's already top 5 on Australian iTunes, which is a testament to the extent to which "Tik Tok" has already become ingrained in popular culture.
Take It Off
Is this jam really about a sex on venue premises? Ke$ha should do a tour of gay saunas. Bitch would be in 7th heaven! I know I complained about the number of slut anthems on "Animal" but this is one of the album's best and holds up as a crisply produced pop gem. Moreover, "Take It Off" has my favourite lyric of 2010: "got my drunk text on, I'll regret it in the morn". I thought I was the only person who goes clubbing and shamelessly spends half the night sending inappropriate texts. I feel so validated!
Kiss N Tell
Max Martin's first contribution to the album is a real standout. Something special happens when the Swede combines with Dr Luke and "Kiss N Tell" is no exception. The production is an interesting Katy Perry meets Britney mash, while Ke$ha's amusing lyrics offer a witty take on the cheating boyfriend genre. Instead of playing the victim, homegirl goes on the offensive by memorably calling her man a slut and ridiculing his manhood. Fair play. Think of this as an inferior but still extremely enjoyable version of "Hot N Cold".
Ok, by this point I was ready to devote my life to stalking Ke$ha at underground sex parties. "Animal" begins very impressively but it's all downhill after this song. However, there's no denying the poptastic brilliance of "Stephen". It's so different from everything else on the album. There are glimpses of genuine emotion and even a moment or two of vulnerability. I particularly love the lyrics, which range from amusingly delusional ("I watched your ugly girlfriend sneer across the room, as if I really care that she's here with you") to wonderfully demented - "I'll knit you a sweater, I'll wanna wrap you up in my love forever!" Another highlight is David Gamson's oddball production, which reflects his 80s glory years with Scritti Politti. I'd love this to be a single but it's probably just a tad too weird and wonderful.
Blah Blah Blah (Featuring 3OH3!)
The title sums up this aural turd perfectly. Sorry, slut but Katy Perry did this first and slightly better on admittedly awful "Starstrukk". Whoever chose this as the second single deserves a bullet.
Dr Luke and Max Martin return to helm the pop tart's first attempt at a ballad and it's not as awful as some critics would have you believe. Admittedly, autotune is Ke$ha's friend and the lyrics are abysmal ("even my dirty laundry smells like you") but there's an edge to her voice that I actually find appealing and the subtle synths work nicely. Think P!nk's "Sober" sung by a trashed bitch at karaoke and you get the general idea.
Party At A Rich Dude's House
This song is so bad it's amazing! Apparently Ke$ha wrote the song after vomiting in Paris Hilton's closet while laying down backing vocals on "Nothing In This World" - one of my all time favourite songs! For that alone this trash deserves a Grammy. The driving guitar and punk attitude also make a nice change. I would probably enjoy "Party At A Rich Dude's House" a lot more if I were a drink away from passing out in an alley but listening to it sober, there's no denying that it's quite shit. Chalk this up as a twisted guilty pleasure.
I actually imported this shit from Italy!
"Backstabber" is a total grower. I hated it at first but now the song reminds me of the electro-rock experiments on Ashlee Simpson's criminally under-appreciated "Bittersweet World" album. That said, Ke$ha isn't quite in the same league as Ashlee when it comes to musical genius but everyone can identify with these lyrics. In fact, I could dedicate this anthem to quite a few people and probably will when I get my drunk text on! Not exactly single material but accomplished filler nonetheless.
Copy and paste everything I said about "Hungover". Ballads are clearly not Ke$ha's forte but the guitar driven chorus at least helps "Blind" stand out from the rest of the album.
If nothing else, "Dinosaur" proves that even Max Martin still has a few new tricks up his sleeve. I can't think of anything in his canon of hits that even sounds remotely similar to this. The production
rips off pays homage to that classic Was Not Was jam "Walk The Dinosaur" (fuck, I'm old!) and the lyrics are hilarious - "not long till you're a senior citizen and you can strut around with a sexy tank of oxygen"! It's about time someone wrote a song about dirty old men and I suggest this be played on a weekly basis at The Midnight Shift.
Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
This is a surprisingly insightful dance anthem about regret. After half a dozen mediocre tracks about partying, it's a relief to hear something with a bit of heart. Lyrics like "on the floor I'm just a zombie, who I am is not who I want to be" and "I've wasted the love of my life" are surprisingly self aware by Ke$ha's standards and the Dr Luke/Benny Blanco production is admirably restrained. Fans of Lady GaGa's "So Happy I Could Die" should enjoy this. A definite step in the right direction.
Boys & Boots
Of the 40 or so Ke$ha demos floating around the internet prior to the album's release, Tom Neville's "Boys & Boots" is one of the few to make the final cut. I would have gone with "Friday Night Bitch Fight" for pure comedy value or the surprisingly lovely "CUNxTuesday" (don't be put off by the fabulous title!) but this slinky little pop tune is catchy and cute. It also shows off the diva's versatility. She's not all quirky one liners and autotune.
I love Greg Kurstin. Anyone who can contribute gems to talents as diverse as Kylie, Sia and Ladyhawke is clearly a genius and he doesn't disappoint here. The album's title track is a shiny pop gem with a genuine hands in the air chorus that doesn't rely on studio trickery or filthy lyrics to be memorable. Ke$ha clearly has a lot of potential, songs like "Animal" stand up to anything on "The Fame". I just wish she'd stop trying to be America's answer to Lily Allen and put a lid on the bratty lyrics.
Another song that has been floating around the internet for the best part of a year. It's not particularly good and makes you wonder who culled Ke$sha's impressive stash of demos.
Dirty Picture (featuring Taio Cruz)
Now, this is a fun. I love Taio Cruz and his voice combines surprisingly well with Ke$ha's. The song sounds like a reject from David Guetta's "One Love" album but that's not a bad thing. At all. I like the electro beats and can imagine a decent DJ turning this into something wonderful. Definitely worth hunting down for dance fans.