It takes quite a talent to establish a sound, image, interview style, singing style and be so dedicated to this that they’d turn down the opportunity to launch their mainstream career by appearing in one of America’s biggest rapper’s videos because they thought “It wouldn’t suit my style”. Snobbish and pedantic and it may seem, that shows dedication, and what Ke$ha lacks in personal presentation, she most certainly makes up for in her dedication to her music.
There’s a snag though: it’s not a universally desirable sound, image, interview style etc., etc., that she’s adopted, and her first début single ‘TiK ToK’ was mediocre at best, ‘Blah Blah Blah’ was what it said on the tin, and only ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ really floated my boat, and I mean really: screw your ‘California Gurls’ and your ‘Dynamite’s: ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ was my summer anthem. It was the first time we saw any kind of humanity in Ke$ha, a kind of sentiment that was missing from her “PARTY PARTY PARTY” attitude that steered the ships of her first two singles.
But now the little bit of sentiment we saw on her fantastic last single has swiftly disappeared out the window, along with anything else not bolted down because Ke$ha is back to her trashy teenage antics.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Oh God, Ke$ha singing about a party… how original. Or words to that effect at least, but that’s testament to how easily recognisable her mainstream style is: that already you instantly know when it’s a Ke$ha song. But the point I’m trying to make here is, whilst it borne of the same pen that ‘TiK ToK’ and ‘Blah Blah Blah’’ were conceived from, ‘Take It Off’ is in a completely different colour.
If there’s one thing Ke$ha can be commended for it’s her song writing ability. Now, she’s no Gary Barlow, but she has an ear for an absolute corker of a pop chorus, smothering her songs in about a million hooks, not even I can deny I wasn’t blurting out “Stop t-t-talkin’ that BLAH BLAH BLAH” in awkward silences. It’s the same story with ‘Take It Off’, only this time, she’s ditched the trip-hop/speak-singing and plumped for a fat, weighty, bass-driven electronic stomper that really makes you want to party!
Opening to what sounds like an auto-tuned Ke$ha singing in a toilet, the bassline soon takes over and *camp gasp* WHAT’S THIS!? Oh. My. God. Is she? She’s not. SHE IS! She’s SINGING the verses! Like actual vocal notes that go up and down, not her “I’m so drunk” Southern girl accent she employs most of the time. And from then on, Ke$ha throws enough hooks at you to keep the SAW franchise going for another 3 films (please, no).
“There’s a place downtown/Where the freaks all come around/It’s a hole in the wall/It’s a dirty free-for-all”, she taunts in the chorus. Yes it’s still laced in auto-tune but on song this good who cares? I shouldn’t even be reviewing this, I should be whacking it on up to eleven and dancing to it, inviting my friends around and just getting trashed. “Water bottle full of whiskey”… Hmm… I made need to remember that one.
Oh, and in case you haven’t seen it yet, Ke$ha scrubs up very well for the video. I think it suits her better than lying on a row of sinks or poising herself on a bog like in Taio Cruz’s ‘Dirty Picture’ video.
Does anyone else think what happens at 1:55 looks very painful?
Hate Ke$ha all you like, but you cannot deny the irresistible hooks of her music and her ear for a monster chorus. She may not be the most accomplished singer in the world, but you’ve got to remember this is a world where Jedward, Cheryl Cole and Kylie Minogue thrive yet they’re not exactly vocal powerhouses are they? You just have to admire her musicality, as well as her ability to go from foxy-looking alpha female to playful youth covered in powder paint in the space of half a second.
I’m glad she chose to release this. But ideally it would’ve been single #2 and ‘Blah Blah Blah’ would’ve stayed on the album. Now, if only she could squeeze a release of ‘Blind’…
Rating: 4.0 STARS
Download: September 20, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Animal’