Ke$ha, 'Cannibal' (RCA)

5
Cannibal
Critical Mass
Release Date: November 22, 2010
Label: RCA

by Barry Walters

The year's most shameless upstart tries to plug into the zeitgeist by playing toxic: "Be too sweet and you'll be a goner / Yep, I'll pull a Jeffrey Dahmer," she zings on a yodeling title track cowritten with her mom. Like most messes, Ke$ha is crazy with contradictions. On her chart-topping "We R Who We R," she sends out pride vibes to bullied gays. On "Grow a Pear," she emasculates a potential boyfriend: "I just can't date a dude with a vag." Constant club-pop hooks, courtesy of executive producer Dr. Luke (with help from mentor Max Martin plus Benny Blanco, Ammo, and others) render the hypocrisy nearly irrelevant; but if they dry up, yikes.

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