Ke$ha, "Animal"

Pop singer Ke$ha scored a No. 1 hit with her frothy first single, "TiK ToK," but the 22-year-old protégé of Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald still has plenty to prove on her debut album, "Animal." Luckily for her, the set teems with choruses that stick with the listener for days, from the blissful "Your Love Is My Drug" to the catty "Backstabber." Equally prevalent, however, are the heavily processed vocals, which make it difficult to tell whether Ke$ha can actually sing. The song "Take It Off," which lifts heavily from Robert Miles' 1995 trance-lite hit "Children," demonstrates how easily individuality can get lost in a sea of Auto-Tune. Another misstep is the ageist, Vanity 6-biting "Dinosaur," which could only appeal to the most heartless of teens. (Ke$ha blares on the chorus, "You need a CAT scan!") But she does have a point: This music is definitely not for the faint of heart.-Monica Herrera