After nearly five years with no new solo material, Kesha has dropped two new tracks in the span of one week. Following “Praying,” the first single from her upcoming album, Rainbow, the funk-tinged “Woman” is another empowering anthem, this time with a more playful, upbeat vibe. The bouncy, expletive-riddled track, which features the members of the Dap-Kings on horns, is a musical departure for the singer, but it reprises the celebratory spirit of her past hits in a way that its predecessor didn’t.
Kesha (#1–10 of 6)
Though Kesha’s Auto-Tune-drenched club hits earned her a reputation as a party girl, there were hints of a more introspective artist at the heart of tracks like “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes” and “Animal,” both from her 2010 debut, Animal. Her record label’s decision not to release even a midtempo cut as a single from the album was a missed opportunity to not only deepen Kesha’s image, but broaden her fanbase and ensure the kind of longevity that many of her more humanized pop contemporaries have enjoyed.
Just two months after her lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke, a.k.a. Lukasz Gottwald, for allegedly drugging, raping, and verbally abusing her was tossed out by a New York judge, barring the singer from recording outside the parameters of her contract with the Swedish super-producer, Kesha is already releasing new music. But don’t call it a loophole. Russian DJ Zedd took to Twitter to explain that Dr. Luke’s label, to which the “Fuck Him He’s a DJ” singer is signed, had given their blessing for the release.
The third in a trifecta of videos from pop music’s current ruling harem involving some juxtaposition of sci-fi action and mythological creatures (the others being Kesha’s superior “Blow” and Lady Gaga’s superior-er “Born This Way”), Katy Perry’s “E.T.” finds the singer taking on the role of an extra-terrestrial goddess who changes outfits more often than Cher during her Vegas stage show.
On the heels of the Dancing with the Stars craze, as well as the continued trend of workout games like Wii Fit, it should be expected that a dancing game like last year’s Just Dance would spawn a sequel. While the first one (which sold very well) met absolutely deflating reception, the second one’s a big improvement, and is pretty fun to play—that is, if you’re really, really self-assured. Or really wasted.
You see, unlike other games of this type, like the wildly popular Dance Dance Revolution series, in which you simply hopped up and down to a song’s beat, Just Dance 2 requires you to actually dance. Well, what they call “dancing,” anyway. In all honesty, you’ll probably look like airport ground crew, trying to direct a plane while having a seizure on a moving treadmill. Some of the choreography is ridiculous, as are some of the graphics—specifically a few of the on-screen dancing avatars, whose moves you must mirror. (The Wii remote detects your motions. The more in sync your writhing is, the more points you’ll get.) For example, if you select Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” you must shadow a doughy, mullet-sporting display of foppish androgyny in hot pants, who flails about as if Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is playing Whack-a-Mole.
Gorillaz, “Doncamatic.” Damon Albarn’s avant-garde virtual band enlists singer-songwriter Daley for this bright and breezy summer ditty that defies the plummeting temperatures outside, a no-frills pop jaunt named after a 1960s Japanese drum machine. “Doncamatic” is an ode to taking it easy, with Daley’s effeminate vocals complementing the bubbly MIDI rhythms. The lyrics ask us to “close the white book, unplug the brain from the game,” though this could also be applied to Albarn’s laissez faire song structure: “Doncamatic” is a far cry from Plastic Beach’s grandiose kitchen-sink arrangements, and thankfully proves Gorillaz hasn’t lost their ear for a simple pop number. Huw Jones