Monday, December 27, 2010

Ke$ha, Please...

When I heard that Ke$ha released a new album, Cannibal, I was excited to hear her new songs, since her first album, Animal, was so feminist. What I found disappointed me.

The first song, “Cannibal,” is honestly a little disturbing, about how much she loves “eat[ing] boys up,” assumedly a parable about how she likes being a heartbreaker. I guess it’s a gender role reversal thing, but in my opinion, the song is so disturbing that it overshadows any positivity it may have regarding double standards or whatnot. (The lines “I want your liver on a platter / use your finger to stir my tea / and for dessert I’ll suck your teeth” and the parallel she makes to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer really freak me out. Am I the only one?)

The songs “We R Who We R” and “Blow” are party songs. To me, they’re getting old. While I found the party songs on Animal as girl-power because of the accompanying feminist songs, these are just redundant and overly accepting of the wild partying/indiscriminate sex lifestyle.

In “Crazy Beautiful Life,” about how she loves her new lifestyle and “waking up on a different couch” every day, she calls herself a b***h, which I know some feminists have reclaimed as a positive word (like B***h Magazine), but I just can’t agree with this. I guess it’s the conservative Orthodox girl in me? I have the same complaint with “C U Next Tuesday,” whose initials spell out a really, really horrible word used as a slur against women. While the song itself isn’t so bad, about a boy who’s pretending he doesn’t have a girlfriend, the title bothers me too much to really like the song.

Sleazy” is all about rejecting a rich guy hitting on her. She does say that “I’m not that easy…I’m not gonna sit here while you circle j**k it on my t*t,” and how she’s not impressed with his money, which are positive lyrics for girls to hear. However, the song’s title is “Sleazy,” and the truly understandable and memorable part of the song is “Get sleazy, sleazy, sleazy…”

The Harold Song” is by far the best song on the album, and I really like it. Even though it’s not particularly feminist, about missing a boyfriend after a breakup, it’s really pretty and touching.

But the crowning sexist glory is “Grow a Pear.” The song is about how she “signed up for a man / but you are just a b***h” and how she “just can’t date a dude with a vag,” but “when you grow a pear / you can call me back.” How, exactly, is he “acting like a chick all the time”? By “grip[ing] about this and whin[ing] about that.” It made me kinda ill when I heard this song for the first time. While wanting a boyfriend who you can trust and feel supported by is a noble message to send to girls, there are ways to phrase it, and saying that you “just can’t date a dude with a vag” is not the way to say it.

So I don’t know what to make of Ke$ha anymore. “Grow a Pear” makes me want to puke, as does “Cannibal,” while “Sleazy” redeems the songs slightly. Her first album was so girl-power that I desperately want to forgive her for “Grow a Pear,” but it’s so offensive that I don’t know if I can. As of right now, I’ll table the decision, and if she releases it as a single, I’ll reevaluate.

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