Ke$ha returns to the album charts next week with her second collection of tracks Warrior, so to commemorate what the Tennessee based singer’s calling a much more adult record, we’ve decided to look and see if there is any hint that she’s moving on from the glitter.
When Ke$ha burst onto the scene under her own name (having previously been a guest vocalist on a hit Flo Rida track), the overriding question was just what the heck was she?
Mixing strange ‘sing-talking’ sections with heavily digitally modified choruses that appeared to be about nothing more than ingesting copious amounts of alcohol and dancing the night away, it was an utterly bizarre mix that instantly found a home, with the record going to number one in America and her debut, glitter and booze themed album Animal getting a similar result upon its release.
She remains a deeply polarising artist though. Her fans love her energy and oddness. Her haters decry her incredibly pervasive use of autotune and a lack of any real depth to her tracks.
While both sides have a real argument, Ke$ha’s going out of her way to try and prove her detractors wrong though, having claimed in interviews leading up to the latest album launch that she’s dialled back the autotune and claims to have left the technical trickery to a minimum. She’s even releasing Deconstructed, an acoustic EP to complement the album, which sees her tackle a clutch of her own songs without the accompaniment of the infamous tone balancing computers.
She’s also said that “The first two records talked more about partying, which is a great, magical part of life. But some songs on the new record are more personal and vulnerable.”
Those hoping for here to write something akin to Stairway To Heaven or Someone Like You though may be waiting for a while, as Warrior album features tracks about her being hypnotised into past lives and having intimate relations with a ghost. You know, those cornerstones of everyday life.
The stance of her previous songs may have been decried by some, but it positively started a trend in the music industry, with a whole heap of songs trying to get on the back of the ‘YOLO’ bandwagon she had started, many finding success. Heck, Pitbull’s entire career might just be down to Tick Tock being a success.
While the 25 year old may be trying to move along with her music (successfully or not), she may have to get her wilder side of her life away from the microphone if she’s to win the respect of her doubters.
From the faked stunt of painting the Hollywood sign, to the recent news that she asks her devoted fans to send her their teeth (she now has over a thousand and has made an entirely dentally constructed outfit out of them), Kesha’s antics (let’s drop the dollar sign shall we?) may just be what keeps more people from joining her.
That might just be easier than we all think though, with the singer having said in an interview with the New York times recently that “You must realize by this point that I’m in on the joke. I know I sound like a jackass half the time. I do it on purpose.”
Maybe there is more under the surface to Kesha than it ever appears. Could she even be a well-managed stage persona and an artist struggling to break out? Having teamed up with The Strokes and Iggy Pop amongst other for this latest record, it wouldn’t seem the craziest theory in the world.
She’s not going to topple Adele or Florence Welch in many people’s affections, but maybe there’s a future for Kesha after the drinks dry up.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith