Blah taste, pure filling.

Posted 1/06/2010 by WHayes in Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,
See that girl? That's Ke$ha. Maybe you've heard her single:

It's probably more likely you've tried to avoid hearing her single. Fuck knows I have.

"TiK ToK," a pants-shittingly average pop song, has been in in heavy rotation here in central Texas. In terms of the creative talent involved, NPR - in a surprisingly blunt flaying - put it best: Ke$ha isn't an artist, she's Campbell's Chunky: over processed, derivative mush that only seems good because she reminds us of actually enjoyable musicians. I tried to come up with a term to describe just where Ke$ha fits on the pop-chart-totem-pole (Hot Tub Time Machine, yo?), when I had an epiphany: she could never be an icon, but she is the glue that holds them together. In other words, she's filler.

Ke$ha's around to keep the seat warm until a better female pop act comes along, in much the same way that Jojo (remember her?) was a momentary distraction until Kelly Clarkson (remember her, either?) hit her stride. Between Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry, the XX quota on the pop scale is pretty much full, especially since Beyonce and Gaga are flooding the markets (does it drive down the price of sexy?), having released "Sweet Dreams" (Beyonce), "Video Phone" (Beyonce/Gaga collaboration), "Telephone" (Gaga/Beyonce, there's a pattern forming), and "Bad Romance" (Gaga) in the span of mere weeks. The deluge, while entertaining, could create a problem: these singles are all coming from albums that've been available to the public for quite some time now. What happens if the target audience has reached its fill for the month? They'll just tune out the next time the Ebony and Ivory towers of pop release a track they've heard already, and Payola can't have that happen. Ke$ha solves that problem, giving the listener something to mindlessly not their head to until the adults come back in the room. Her title as lyrical mortar seems even more appropriate once you realize that she rode in piggyback on one of the blandest, most unimaginative hacks ever to claim hip hop:

Flo Rida: a second-rate Twista with a third-string beat sounding like something Timbaland and Major Lazer gang-banged and then killed (not to mention it samples Dead or Alive). Just like Ke$ha, Flo Rida provided filler to cushion our ears (because who really gives a hoot when you're drunk on the dance floor?) until Soulja Boy begat the Autumn of Young Money, which gave us some of the better pop-hop of the decade:

Loves it, and really, what is a Ke$ha to a Gaga, a Flo Rida to a Wale? Don't worry about it. We won't remember their names in a year anyway.

Further Listening:

2 comment(s) to... “Blah taste, pure filling.”


PicMuse said...

I would describe the Flo Rida/Ke$ha combo as a stale oatmeal cream pie. Simply something that had the intention of being tastey but just tides you over for the fresh new one.

And what the hell... why is there a dollar sign in her name? Can anyone name someone that had a lengthy career with a symbol in their name?

High five to NPR, btw.

CtotheB said...

Only one I can think of is Ma$e. Honorable mention to Ted DiBiase for that Million Dollar Belt with the dollar signs all over it.

I like to think of Flo Rida as a Twinkie. Only if said Twinkie had no filling.

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