“Blow” Ke$ha (#9 Billboard Hot 100, Week of May 7, 2011)
Ke$ha may not be an especially talented singer, but she’s way underrated as an innovator. She has latched onto a formula, turned it into her own personal genre, and perhaps consummated the marriage of pop, dance, and rock ‘n roll.
“Blow” is yet another shining example of what she’s been able to do sonically. This song has all the rock swagger of an Aerosmith record (please note, this is a comparison of attitude, not of musicianship) but with a deceptively teeny-bop arrangement. Although the title references neither sex nor drugs, I’m quite certain that those word associations were not lost on Ke$ha or her fellow songwriters.
Ke$ha’s world is one big, messy, fun slacker party. Lady Gaga is miles ahead in musical depth, but the whole trashy dance chic Gaga was after has been totally overtaken by songs just like this one.
The marvel to me is that Ke$ha’s admittedly one-note musical focus on her singles thus far has not become boring. I find each one catchy, guilty fun and not at all redundant.
And I especially delight in the musical recycling. The breakdown of “Blow” replicates sounds generated during Trent Reznor’s studio tinkering on The Downward Spiral (who knows, it might even be a sample). And I love that record.
I slept on Ke$ha for the first couple of singles, but no more. This girl knows the sound she’s after, and she achieves it every time.