Ke$ha is a conundrum. Take her Valley Girl electropop at face value — the party-girl anthem "Tik Tok," the first-love romp "Your Love Is My Drug," the all-night rager "We R Who We R" — and she's the musical equivalent of a bender that begins with bottle service and ends in a strip club. Being fabulous and being debauched are one and the same — and blowing off steam by partying with your friends and your dude is what life's all about. Naturally, this attitude is polarizing — if Lady Gaga rubs people the wrong way because of her overexposed earnestness and theatrical personality, then Ke$ha's vapid-starlet pose and digitally altered drama irritates people even more. Yet the 23-year-old might just be having the last laugh: Her SAT scores were reportedly off the charts, and she claims she derailed plans to attend Columbia University by moving to LA, hinting that perhaps her shtick is simply a well-calculated act. Newer songs bear this out. On the hip-hop-influenced "Sleazy," she condemns the faux-fancy lamers in the VIP section, and she's Sylvia Plath for the text-message generation on "Cannibal": She roars that she eats boys for lunch, much like the Bell Jar author eats men like air.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.