The first time I tried to embed this video my browser crashed. The second time a fist-shaped ball of glitter punched me across the face from parts unknown. The third time I was hit in the head with a bottle of flavored vodka and woke up to find only a pair of chunky, plastic novelty sunglasses nearby as evidence of the attack. Eventually, after locking myself in a closet and papering the walls with torn-out pages from Moby Dick while lighting a number of unscented birthday candles, the only way to effectively ward off Ke$ha, the evil spritely Norse god who lives by eating the ears off children, I was able to post it and continue writing about one of the great musical advances of our time, Ke$ha’s seminal album Animal.
One of the most fascinating things about her first album is that it took seven years to make. That means she was fifteen when she started it, and that’s the truly brilliant thing about it. She poured all her early-teen ideas, the creative jumble most of us leave in journals or these days on YouTube, into an album she made as a young adult. And that, my friends, is brilliant. What better way to talk to an audience of fifteen year-old girls then to take everything you thought as a fifteen year-old girl and sing about it once you’re an aspirational twenty-two year-old?
I may not enjoy the lyrics of “Party at a Rich Dude’s House”, but that’s not because they’re bad, it’s because I’m a twenty-eight year-old man and partying at a rich dude’s house these days means “Party at an Old Dudes House”. Ke$ha is not singing for me, she’s singing for a million teenage girls who wait all year for the night the rich kid’s parents are out of town so they can unfinish his basement, fill the hedges with cigarette buts and soil every sofa in the house.
That’s why she advances music as a whole. Even if I can’t stand a single track on the entire album, Ke$ha would probably say I shouldn’t, she’d actually probably call me a Dinosaur then break another bottle of flavored vodka over my head. Ke$ha is living proof that the musical model of the future should be more albums from more artists on more labels for the increasingly specific audiences of tomorrow instead of the “make whatever is most accessible” model of the last fifty years.