Being a successful popstar is not about being mature. Being a successful popstar is not about playing by The Rules. Nor does being a successful popstar instantly mean you need a good voice. Being a successful popstar does not instantly mean you need to be a good role model either. Being a successful popstar is not about philosophical lyrics and rolling fifths and being able to play a musical instrument. But, being a successful popstar does mean you need the tunes, and the fanbase… preferably a fanbase willing to buy those tunes.
To some ‘popstars’, there is a distinct lack of judgment on what is needed to be truly successful and merit the success you get, resulting in people like James Blunt being a bit whiny at the “cynical” media, or MGMT, who pretentiously demanded that no singles should be released from their new album ‘Congratulations’. Thankfully for others, well, they really get it. Take Ke$ha, who is to a responsible role model what a human hand would be to a meat mincer (quite a catastrophe would ensue should you test it out, is what I’m saying). Sure you can slag her off for it; call her irresponsible, a bad role model badly sending a bad message out to impressionable youngsters and generally being a bad influence (never stopped P!nk though, did it? She even wrote a song about it). But should you try to revolt against someone like Ke$ha and her auto-tuned antics, the odds are her and her posse will mow you down in a torrent of high-heels, ripped tights, face paint and glitter and that will be the end of that/you.
So let’s consider why Ke$ha is so successful, because there’s no proof she has any singing talent if we’re going by her musical output thus far. Opting to hide behind a thick sheet of auto-tune rather than sing unassisted, Ke$ha has already raised eyebrows about whether she can actually hold a note.
Ke$ha is successful because she has what any popstar of the Now needs – a fanbase and the tunes. And boy does she deliver on the tune front. She may not be the best vocalist in the world, far from it in fact, but you’d have to be a fool to deny that she knows her way around an amazing pop hook. Cramming six or seven into each of her infectious party anthems (as well as her ballads – check out ‘Animal’ or ‘Blind’, particularly the former), her songs always provide that instant catchiness regardless of how shallow or one-dimensional they may appear.
On ‘We R Who We R’, Ke$ha makes no apologies for being the party animal she is, claiming she’s looking “sick and sexified” and that tonight, she’ll be “going hard”. Although I do not know exactly what she means by this comment: to “go hard”, but it could be said that it’s not the first time a bewildering lyric has popped up in a Ke$ha song. In ‘TiK ToK’ she infamously spoke out about waking up “like P. Diddy”, so who knows what she really means? Either way, it works wonders for her and should be enjoyed by all those who hear her say it in the stuttery, retriggered glory that has a few nods towards Usher’s ‘DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love’. But then again, Usher is a bellend and so is that over-hyped Lilliputian of his, Justin Bieber, so we’ll leave that there.
Here’s the video. It’s fair to say that, at various points during the video – which incidentally is Ke$ha most extravagant to date – she takes on the look of other big, successful popstars or just random celebrities, like when she wears the torn up American flag outfit reminiscent of the GaGabeyoncételephonevideo (1:26), and at other times she looks like that hilarious one from Misfits, called Kelly (0:22), and at others, she assumes the rare look of Katie Price (1:54). Although it would be important to note that she looks like Katie Price when Katie Price looks alright, as opposed to Katie Price, the badly-inflated Easyjet beach-ball with industrial strength silicone hanging off every possible extremity.
Yes, PlentyOfFish.com are throwing a lot of money at this video.
Not many people get away with making music this shallow. Often you’ll find people like Jay Sean or Taio Cruz attempt it, only to find it sounds a bit too trashy and performs an almighty flopping sequence on every country’s charts. At other times, people like Jay Sean and ooh… hmm… let’s say Taio Cruz, hypothetically, try to do something ‘serious’ yet still come out with the same trashy, generic pop/dance (this is when it’s at it’s most embarrassing).
Ke$ha Serbet however, really knows how to balance the weight combination of her lyricism, her hooks, her vocals, her auto-tune and her choruses right on the pinpoint of a sewing needle. I love the fact the ‘big rave part’ sounds a lot like something 3OH!3 would produce – basically a tuneless wall of sound that suits Ke$ha very well, much more than the majority of 3OH!3’s outputs. So kudos to her for going against all that ‘should’ happen when a song like this arises, and for once again producing an infectiously catchy tune destined for the dancer-floor and most likely the top of the charts, too.
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Download: January 17, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Cannibal’