Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

Animal by Ke$ha

Title: Animal
Artist: Ke$ha
Label: RCA Records
Date: January 2010
Number of Tracks: 14
UPC: 886974920922

Summary: Animal is a collection of fast paced dance anthems from the singer Ke$ha. The chart topping lead single, “TiK ToK” is about the party lifestyle – staying out all night drinking and dancing.  The single “Blah Blah Blah” is meant to be subversive and question gender roles – it explicitly talks about men in the same way that women are treated by male singers (for instance, with the lyric “Just show me where your d***’s at”).  Her latest single, “Your Love is My Drug,” which Ke$ha reportedly wrote in ten minutes on an airplane, is lyrically what the title claims it is – a love song that proclaims that her significant other is like a drug to her.  This sentiment is echoed in the song “Stephen,” about her feelings for a guy who has a girlfriend – she sings “You’re my object of affection/My drug of choice/My sick obsession.”  The relationship-as-substance metaphor is carried over into her song “Hungover,” which is about the end of a relationship.

Critical Evaluation: I have to wonder what exactly Ke$ha is trying to say here.  She sings all these “bad girl” songs about partying and drugs, then says in interviews not to take her too seriously.  It seems to me that’s she’s trying hard to push this image of herself, but doesn’t back it up – and to me, she comes across as not genuine.  She has made these kind of ironic statements before, as even her stage name of Ke$ha with the dollar sign was created as a joke, since she recorded a hit song with “Flo Rida” yet didn’t have enough money to buy a taco (Source).

Some are offended by her references to drugs, although I almost wonder if these songs (particularly “Your Love is My Drug”) are actually anti-drug – by stating that this person is her drug, presumably she doesn’t need the real thing.  She has made subversive messages before, like in her song “Blah Blah Blah,” so maybe that’s her real point.  Or maybe she doesn’t have one.

Annotation: Ke$ha’s debut album Animal is full of danceable tracks and ballads, celebrating the partying lifestyle and relationships.

About the Artist: Kesha Rose Sebert, better known by her stage name Ke$ha, was born in Los Angeles, California in 1987.  She was raised by a single mother who was an aspiring singer and moved the family out to Nashville, Tennessee in 1991 to pursue a record deal.

In 2005, the Sebert family was on an episode of The Simple Life, the reality show featuring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.  Ke$ha earned her GED at the age of seventeen in order to move to Los Angeles and pursue music.  She got her start by singing backing vocals on songs like “Nothing in This World” by Paris Hilton and “Right Round” by Flo Rida, before being signed to RCA Records and producing her debut album, Animal.

Genre: Pop, Dance, Electronica

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Discussion Ideas:
1) Do people look at Ke$ha as a role model?  What if she says not to take her seriously?
2) Do you have a favorite song from this album?
3) Are we influenced by song lyrics to try things like alcohol, or can we just dance to them?

Interest Age: 12 and older

Challenge Issues: alcohol and drug references, sexual content, profanity

Challenge Defense Ideas:

• Become familiar with the CD and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on Amazon.com.

• Try to get reviews of the CD from teens who have listened to it.

Selection: I decided to review Ke$ha because her music is receiving a lot of exposure and topping the charts, and will appeal to a teen audience since the singer herself is only 23.

Extras:

Ke$ha’s official website.

Music Video for TiK ToK:

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May 14, 2010 Posted by | Music | , , | Leave a comment