Recording information: Acme Recording, Long Beach, CA; Conway Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Dr. Luke's, Los Angeles, CA; Henson Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Kingsize Soundlabs, Eagle Rock, CA; Lotzah Music Studios, NYC; Love Minus Zero Studios, London, UK; Maratone Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; Ollywood Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Shelby Duncan.
Just when it seemed 2009's trash-brat electro scene (3OH!3, LMFAO, Shwayze) was about to crumble under its own weight, rapper/singer/songwriter Kesha became the genre's biggest star, graduating from being Flo Rida's backup singer (she provided the hook on the rapper's massive single "Right Round") to superstar when her debut single, "TiK ToK," set a digital sales record with over 600,000 downloads in a week. Her climb to the top includes bizarre factoids like she once lived in the house where the Eagles recorded Hotel California, plus she once vomited in Paris Hilton's closet. Working on Hilton's album was the reason she was at the house, so it's hard not to appreciate how Animal makes Kesha sound nothing like an industry vet who used to write for the Veronicas. Here she's a gum-snapping, alcohol-abusing Facebook jockey straight out of the suburbs, who spits sophomoric but fun putdowns, come-ons, and sig files all over electro beats. Opening with "Maybe I need some rehab/Or maybe just need some sleep", Animal is up front about its unwillingness to face the real world, and prefers a garbage chic reality with a liberal shot of the `80s. "Party at a Rich Dude's House" could have fallen off the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack, while the word "gross" makes a serious comeback throughout the album. The music is heavy on gimmicks -- Auto-Tune, vocoders, and silly samples are all in abundance -- while able folks like Dr. Luke, plus Mim and Liv Nervo, are in charge of the colorful electro-pop productions. With so many fun, "TiK ToK"-type tracks, Animal is recommended for both brats and the bratty at heart. ~ David Jeffries
Rolling Stone (p.57) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "It's repulsive, obnoxious and ridiculously catchy....[The producers] envelop Ke$ha's bratty raps in percolating beats and buzzing bass lines..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "[Producer Dr. Luke] frames her Valley Girl sneer with electro-glam arrangements..." -- Grade: B+
Billboard (p.32) - "[T]he set teems with choruses that stick with the listener for days, from the blissful 'Your Love Is My Drug' to the catty 'Backstabber.'"