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Source Material

Source Material: Ke$ha, Animal

by Rachel Devitt

Source Material: Ke$ha, Animal


It feels like just yesterday that Ke$ha burst onto the scene, brushing her teeth with bottles of Jack, crashing parties and generally making a mess of pop music in the best way. With her up-all-night club beats, beglittered pantslessness and almost-grating-but-still-somehow-charming quasi-rapping -- not to mention that freaking dollar sign in her name -- her half-lit party anthems and poperatic tendencies feel like either a campy send-up of contemporary pop music or one never-ending drunk text (or some combination thereof).

That penchant for blurring/straddling lines drives the Nashville-bred, sleaze-shilling, polarizing yet incredibly pop-culture-attuned singer-songwriter, and accordingly, people either love her or hate her. And yeah, OK, after three years and what seems like a gazillion Top 10 singles, we here at Napster kinda love her, at least in the way you love that one crazy, obnoxious friend who's always convincing you to do stuff you regret later -- but have the most fun doing at the time.

And now, the good lady Ke$ha has just unleashed her sophomore album, Warrior, upon us. In its honor, we decided to take a trip back through her debut, 2010's Animal, and contend with her tangled, over-dyed roots. And you know what? For a girl who trades in what often get written off as “just” party anthems, she's in some seriously good company, from fellow sex-positive (post-)feminists like Peaches and Lil Kim to candy-coated power-puff grrrls like the Spice Girls and The Runaways to fellow hard-partying badasses like Guns N' Roses and Tanya Tucker, who claim the same rock/country background. We actually couldn't fit everyone in: We also found strains of Fannypack, Poison, Northern State, Sia, Robyn and Big Freedia, among others, in her DNA. In other words, this is gonna be one wild, memorable ride. You won't regret it.