The 89th Academy Awards

Ke$ha, "Animal"

3.5

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

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