Archive for January 10, 2010

FREE iTunes Download – “Just Breathe” (Live at Austin City Limits) by Pearl Jam

January 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I guess this is pretty self-explanatory – just head on to Pearl Jam’s website and click where it says ‘Connect to Twitter’.

All you need to do is send a tweet and you get a free Pearl Jam iTunes download of “Just Breathe” (Live at Austin City Limits)! Sweet.

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Album Review – ‘Animal’ by Ke$ha

January 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, Ke$ha’s debut album ‘Animal‘ is projected to debut at Number 1 next week, beating out overachiever Susan Boyle’s ‘I Dreamed A Dream‘ with an estimated 130-140k in sales. Pretty good for January, I’d say. So what’s all the fuss about this new artist? Her single Tik Tok is #1 on the charts and it’s sold more than 2M copies to date. The question is whether she can also sell albums, and from the looks of it, seems like RCA gambled right with her.

I’ve read some of the reviews on ‘Animal’ and they’re not pretty. Therefore, I have to admit that when I gave in and checked this album out, I came in with extremely low expectations. Maybe that’s why my first reaction was – well, I wouldn’t call that a horrible album. Yes, it is vulgar & vapid and about as substantial as candy floss; but considering that $ in her name, I can’t imagine why people would expect anything more. Yes, listening to it is not going to change anyone’s life for the better, but ‘Animal’ is actually a pretty entertaining electro-pop-dance album with Ke$ha-styled-‘bratty rap’ thrown into the mix. And based on what I heard, ‘Tik Tok’ won’t be Ke$ha’s last hit on this album. I don’t know if the other singles will be as big a hit, but they do have the potential to hit #1 on Top 40. Because you and I know that radio really really likes these infectious (if a bit soulless and ultimately crappy) music 😉

The album is stacked top heavy – with the first three tracks (Your Love is My Drug, Tik Tok and Take It Off) IMO giving a pretty good 1-2-3 punch. Tik-Tok is already a monster hit; I think that Your Love is My Drug and Take It Off have a very good chance of following in its footsteps. Your Love Is My Drug has a really catchy bridge and chorus; it’s guaranteed to get even the shyest wallflower up and dancing. Take It Off is probably the song I liked the best to dance to on the album – I really really like the hard-driving beat, and even though it’s repetitive, it has this chanting quality that I find pretty hypnotic and addicting. Following these three tracks, the rest are kinda meh to me (special mention – Blah Blah Blah is horrifying! and boring! and Stephen is frankly pretentious), until we reach Backstabber which has a really really interesting rhythm that I like. I think this could be a single contender too.

Ke$ha has said that she was just having fun on this album and to take the songs as tongue-in-cheek. Maybe that’s why I can enjoy the songs Dinosaur (which has her dissing all the dirty-old-men) and Boots and Boys (which should be on the Sex & the City Soundtrack). Seriously, Dinosaur is hilarious! ‘You’re just an old man. You need a CAT scan.’ I laughed so much, sorry. And as for Boots and Boys, I could totally identify with liking boots and boys *wink*. I can already see a montage of Carrie Bradshaw out shopping and going out on dates with this song playing in the background. Paging the Sex & the City producers!

It’s hard to tell on the album if Ke$ha can actually sing well (although based on her live performances, the answer is she’s not very consistent); she’s pretty much auto-tuned to the point of sounding like a robot for the entire album. But truth to tell, I liked her songs much better when Ke$ha was just ‘rapping’ or rather sing-talking – she has a pretty unique vocal inflection – that I found charming. Ugh… I know… what the hell is wrong with my ears? LOL But the interesting thing for me was that when she tries to actually, you know, sing-for-real in the midtempo to slow tracks like Hungover, Blind, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes and Animal (all decent songs by the way), I couldn’t help but wonder how much better these songs would’ve been had a stronger singer landed the songs. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes actually sounds very much like a Kelly Clarkson song – except not sung quite as well. Ke$ha does carry off the title track Animal well – and makes me think that given the chance – this girl isn’t just the vapid glitter-trashy valley-girl her image-shapers want us to see. So, I’ll give her that. Animal shows that maybe there’s a steel core inside that dirty but glittery wash-rag exterior.

So, basically, what I’m saying is – don’t just dismiss this album based on the bad reviews. If you want an album with tracks that you can whip out and have people up and dancing at a moment’s notice – and not anything deeper than that – give this one a listen. Just ignore the lyrics 😉

Animal is available on Amazon as an audio CD ($6.99 only!) and MP3 album ($6.99). It’s also available on iTunes for $6.99. I’m guessing the special price is part of RCA’s strategy – guess it worked if she’s going to open #1.

Listen to Take It Off:

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Categories: Album Review, Music, Reviews Tags: ,
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