Ke$ha – Cannibal

On November 23, 2010, in Dance, Electronic, Electropop, Pop, Rap, Review, by Miguel Rodriguez
Artist: Ke$ha
Album: Cannibal [EP]
Producer: Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, et al.
Label: RCA
Release: November 22, 2010

Rating: 2.9 RockRolls

As a follow up to her first release, Animal, Ke$ha brings us a 9-track EP with Cannibal, which this week was paired with her debut as a two-disc set (Animal + Cannibal). At a stout 32 minutes, the EP almost fills up the time of a normal album, bringing fans anoother disc to add to their collection. An entourage of producers and a mélange of collaborative writers (including Ke$ha's mother), however, make the listener wonder if perhaps too many artists scratch the record.

The album opens on it's title track boasting a beat that sounds more like a warning alarm than a dance beat and Ke$ha's attempt at growling on a record—perhaps she would have sounded more menacing if her voice wasn't so compressed. The chorus almost redeems the song, but Ke$ha's signature sing-song rapping style on the verse fails to hit the mark on this one (It should be noted that it takes a special kind of person with a certain amount of class to rhyme "famous" with "anus," the likes of which haven't been heard since Tech N9ne's "Slacker"). The lead single "We R Who We R" follows with an 8-bit, video-game-style synth and a beat to which someone can actually dance. The song debuted at Billboard's Hot 100 in the number one spot (a feat only accomplished 16 times previously) three weeks before the album release, and while one cannot criticize her inspiration (the song was written in response to the rash of suicides committed by bullied, gay youth earlier this year) the song itself is similar and sub-par to her previous singles and becomes tired and repetitive after about thirty seconds.

The tracks "Crazy Beautiful Life," "Grow A Pear,"[sic] and "C U Next Tuesday" all employ a similar 8-bit, video game tone as "We R Who We R" or Animal's "Tik Tok" with varying amounts of success. While "Crazy Beautiful Life" and "C U Next Time" are predictable both musically and lyrically, they still emanate a sugary-sweet-pop tone, despite being vapid tunes. "Grow A Pear," however, is wholly unlistenable; Ke$ha's typical one-note-rapped chorus and senseless, tasteless lyrics (you can only hide behind combating double-standards or having a fun, party attitude so long) are enough to shatter anyone's aural shock absorbers.

The opening chorus on "Sleazy" makes the track a sort of self-proclaimed anthem before the dirty and abrasive drum beat kicks in. It is sufficient to say that the song is aptly named.

The best dance track on the album is "Blow," which pales in comparison to Animal's "Tik Tok." The track will definitely find airplay and rotation at the gay clubs alongside "We R Who We R" but falls short of the bar Ke$ha set for herself with her debut album and dance singles. At the very least, the beat is catchy and will make you tap your feet at the very least. Ke$ha has a hidden gem on the album, however, in "The Harold Song." While it likely won't receive the commercial success of any of her singles, Ke$ha at least reminds those listening that she can tell stories as is evident in much of her songwriting (outside of the aforementioned tracks on this EP). An average recording, this reviewer is anxious to review the album that carries an acoustic ballad version of this song.

The album ends on a confused, sleepy remix of "Animal" that really puts to shame her debut's title track. And in the end, that's much like how the whole album plays out. Confused over the popularity of the first go-around, Cannibal matches together elements that were popular once but don't ever quite pair up the same again.

2.9 RockRolls

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