Note: The AS Review is adding a new column to its hallowed pages. Every week, I, Brett Flora, will be your moderator through a discourse on pop culture. Why pop culture? It’s popular. It’s pervasive. And, I don’t think we are critical of it enough. I will present my thoughts, and I want you to respond. I’m sure we’ll all learn something in the process.
“Pop music is people who can’t think signing artists who can’t write songs to make records for people who can’t hear.”
The adapted quote of legendary avant-garde musician Frank Zappa describes pop music perfectly. Harsh? Your honor, may I present Exhibit A: Ke$ha. No, your honor, not Key-dollar-sign-ha, kesh-ah.
I don’t like Ke$ha. I think her music is of poor quality (even when compared to the rest of modern pop music).
Ke$ha’s rap-talking is annoying and awful. Her music loses appeal the more she sneers through her spoken-word sections. I have to leave the room if I hear her, similar to nails on a chalkboard. But doesn’t Nicki Minaj rap-talk? Yes, but Minaj can actually rap.
Some critics have said Ke$ha raps because she can’t sing. No, she can sing. So can I. I sang in a choir. But, she’s a pop star in the professional realm, and “singing” in pop music, for me at least, draws a comparison with Whitney Houston. That’s pop-star singing. Like, I get chills it’s so good.
Ke$ha’s lyrics are nonsense. I understand that modern pop music is not always known for beautiful and poetic prose, but some coherent narrative or subject is necessary. Something. Anything. Repeating words aren’t helping (looking at you, Usher).
If the song lyrics communicate nothing, what purpose do lyrics have?
Now, I know that Ke$ha claims she is leveling the playing field; male rappers have been objectifying and sexualizing women in their music for years. But does Ke$ha’s in-your-face sexualized lyrics mean progress? I think not. I don’t like it when the rappers do it, and I find it more disturbing when Ke$ha does it. I don’t think her lyrics “give [rappers] a taste of their own medicine.” I think Ke$ha only adds confusion now that a female pop star objectifies men and I would argue herself as well.
Ke$ha: her music is bad and her influence is worse. I think the world is better off not listening in.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Have more information to add? Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.