Kesha was the rising star of the music scene back in late 2009 when her hit song Tik Tok exploded upon music charts around the world. But many questioned whether she would have a lasting career, or whether she was a simple one hit wonder. But with this platinum selling debut she showed that she had a lot more up her sleeve, even if you didn’t like her party girl persona.
Track 1- Your Love Is My Drug
The albums opener is a great electronic confection that feels totally euphoric and lives well up to its title. The clattering electro beats in the chorus really pack a punch against the simple refrain that totally gives a dance feel to the track. And this also works well against the word heavy verses which are more subtly produced. Vocally Kesha also really lets rips in the final sections of the song, and the rap style section in the tracks latter moments is really cool and easily memorable. If you’re not bopping around in your mind by the end of this song it’s just wrong.
Track 2- Tik Tok
This was the track that catapulted Kesha into the musical stratosphere, and if you listen to it it is easy to see why. The harsh electro beats make for a great dance rhythm to the song, and lyrical Kesha embodies that spirit of carefreeness that many will experience at some point in their life. The auto tune final verses are a really nice touch in that they sound sonically really cool, and they allow for a real build up to the jump up and down final chorus. And the short “now the party don’t start till I walk in” is that sign that this is one of the party tunes.
Track 3- Take It Off
The heavily auto tuned introduction to this track marks it as an aggressive beat. And it definitely is as soon as the beat kicks in, with the beat being fast paced and aggressive. The lyrics are honed into the artists carefree persona with a stereotypical glitter reference, but it’s another example of lyrical composition that is easily throwaway stuff but also really catchy and memorable. The lower register is very much employed on this track, with auto tune being a staple as well, although it is used effectively within this song. And nice flourishes make this song a stand out, such as the use of a collection of voices during the line “everybody take it off”.
Track 4- Kiss n Tell
The fast paced electro stutter of the production of this track is really great and gives a sense of the pace of the track right from the beginning. Vocally there is a sense of playfulness and all round fun to the song, whilst an undertone of aggression can be identified. The swooshing production in the pre chorus really gives a simple build to the booming vocal and production frenzy of the chorus. Lyrically it is very pop orientated and feels very similar to other music artists were releasing at the time, very middle ground, but it’s saved by the production and vocal.
Track 5- Stephen
The first less dance floor orientated record on the album, this track offers a bit of diversity and gives a sense of a softer side to the artist. The songs is lyrically intriguing with a strong stalkerish element to it, and having that sense of obsessive crush. The vocals are light, although the use of auto tune is slightly annoying in places. And the production is really nice and simple, with steady, clattering beats and an electro undertone. It’s a nice sweet if creepy track that shows she isn’t all about partying hard.
Track 6- Blah Blah Blah (featuring 3OH!3)
The party atmosphere comes back full force on this track. The subtle two beat electro undertone mixed with the handclap beats gives a great dance feel to the track, and vocally Kesha really plays to her strengths as the song features more of a rap singing style than other tracks. The 3OH!3 feature is a little bit of an underwhelming feature as its short but in this sense is simple and doesn’t over power the track. And whilst the lyrics are a bit bland, they are fast paced which gives a fun edge to this song.
Track 7- Hungover
The first down tempo record on the album sees Kesha transfer from party girl mode to thinking about the morning after. Like the other songs on the record it is very simply composed lyrically, but with the retrospective nature of the artist we get a little bit more musical depth in this tune. And whilst the clattering beats are really powerful, producer Lukasz Gottwald also knows how to not overpower the sentiment of the song. Vocally its more powerful than other songs and is great in that auto tune is kept to the bare minimum, although I slightly felt that there was just a little something missing vocally to get that true sense of feeling hungover from love.
Track 8- Party at a Rich Dude’s House
One of the songs that really brings out that crazy rock chick persona of Kesha’s, this track is a fun and frivolous number that compliments the balladry of the previous song. The lyrical quality of the song is really bad, featuring proper big clichés that are just annoying and some unwanted repetition. But the rock tinged production with clattering drums and an electro base gives a real vibrancy to the track, and vocally Kesha really wants to show that she can rock out with the best.
Track 9- Backstabber
A bitter track where Kesha calls out her friend for being a bitch. The chorus is really simple and great for all those girls who have been really hurt by a friend and are just out for revenge. But apart from that the song is a bit of a bore, with the production being too simple and too repetitive, whilst vocally Kesha should have a bit more venom in her voice for such a poisonous subject matter.
Track 10- Blind
Another more down tempo offering but with a powerful, booming chorus, this a track that could perhaps divide opinion. For those who just really like her party tunes it’s definitely one to skip. But otherwise you can really enjoy. The lyrics are very much stereotypical I don’t need you but are elevated by the way the verses are subtly played vocally whilst the chorus features clattering electro beats and some stretching of Kesha’s vocals. There is also a real sense of hurt to this track, something which should have been heard on the previous track. The issue is that with this being back to back with Backstabber it might be a bit too much bitterness to take.
Track 11- Dinosaur
With the vocal spelling of the title and whistling effect, this song isn’t trying to be anything but a silly pop number. And it’s great because of this. She handles the funny concept of older males hitting on young women with panache, with the ad libs really bring that oh my what is he doing feeling out of the track. Vocally it’s more rap/talk style than some of the other songs but that works for this track, and luckily auto tune doesn’t ruin the track. And the production just primarily consists of a fast paced beat that never hinders the songs message. The only issue for me is that the song kind of just ends rather than having a big finish.
Track 12- Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
This number kind of feels a little too similar to blind but has more of a sombre tone to it. The track is very much broken Kesha rather than party Kesha and just feels a bit boring, as the track lacks some emotional depth, which is very much because of the vocals. This is because in the verses it just feels like she is singing the words rather than getting emotionally invested, and the chorus is affected by auto tune. And the production, whilst giving a steady beat and allowing for a good final section, feels a little frenzied and not consistent.
Track 13- Boots & Boys
This slightly sultry track doesn’t work in giving a sexy appeal to the song, but works well in giving that psyche of many women in the world. The refrain of “boots and boys” is really simple but works rather than being annoying, and kind of get stuck in your head. And in using mainly the lower register of her voice Kesha does indeed give off that sense of being obsessed. The production is just a bit bland and just keeps the track going, although the final section has a cool electro beat
Track 14- Animal
The title track of the album is a real nice end to the album in that it kind of has this ethereal quality to it. It almost seems to meld the party girl and retrospective personas together, and gives a state of enlightenment. The production is nice in that it is light in the verses and then features clattering, forceful beats in the chorus. And this also melds well with the vocals and lyrics which are equally as light in the verses and then powerful in the chorus. It’s a great album end in that it almost signals that Kesha has taken us on a journey and this is the end in which we come out in a slightly better state of mind, which is weird to think when she is mainly known as the party girl.
This isn’t an awesome album, but it shows that she isn’t just a one trick pony and that she is actually a credible artist. And whilst the fast paced party numbers are great, the slower and more retrospective songs are also equally as good. There are a few issues such as the lyrical quality and the use of auto tune, but this could be easily fixed with time.