Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Ke$ha – Your Love Is My Drug

Don’t think the video for this has turned up yet, so we’ll just have to guess at how awesome her phone will be in it…


Martin Skidmore: A cliched metaphor, combined with stiff rapping and shrill singing, plus clumping dance pop backing. Two interesting things about it: it almost makes me understand why people like Lady Gaga; and it was co-written with her mother, which is a rare thing.

Alex Ostroff: “Your Love Is My Drug” is a Dr. Luke production, laced with all of the aural crack that his involvement traditionally promises. Unfortunately, the song is all about that initial high, while repeated exposure dulls your brain to its effects. The best tracks on Animal force you to wade through, and eventually embrace, the more obnoxious (and interesting) aspects of Ke$ha’s persona and performance — be they ‘TiK ToK’s affected vocals, “Blah Blah Blah”‘s sonic assault, or “Stephen”‘s general creepiness. “Drug” is a decently catchy piece of electro, but there’s little here that’s distinctively, frustratingly, uncomfortably Ke$ha.

Chuck Eddy: I unjustly underrated her two previous singles here, but I’ve listened the album plenty since (2010 Top 10 shoo-in I think), and I’ve got no doubt this is one of the least compelling cuts — maybe even the least compelling. But it’s still got a kinetic forward bounce, at least in the parts that don’t remind me of Katy Perry, and it’s got amusing asides about lovesick crackheads and slumber parties and beards. Definitely better than “She’s Not A Drug” on the new Jackyl album.

David Moore: I’ll admit that my recent Ke$ha-stanning stint made me raise my own eyebrow a few times. But I’m comfortable with it now and have settled into Animal being 2010’s Secret Life of the Veronicas — over-the-top faux controversy veneer as red herring distracting from some bulldozer tunes and a funny conceit (anonymous-confessional twins versus vomit-confessional 13-year-olds FITE). Which would make this Ke$ha’s “Everything I’m Not,” the Max/Luke cookie-cutter nod-along w/ solid hook and nothing to say. But at least with this one I can imagine those random Autotune dribbles at the end (“Hey…hey. So…heh heh.”) as the sound of a child discovering her superpowers before blasting through the wall of a candy store.

John Seroff: It’s petulant to claim the world’s trash as one’s own personal treasure, but I had more time for Ke$ha when she was a homogenized (and less made up) Mickey Avalon homunculus, offering up grist for 400-word deconstruction popnerd Jukebox essays, instead of doing the goddamn opening theme for The Simpsons. Now she’s gone viral and it’s harder to be positive about this suddenly popular brand of unwashed mallpop on its own terms; you run the entirely real risk of being forced to defend a hasty seal of approval to yourself as you’re forced to listen to this suet in heavy rotation all summer. Mark me down as a cautious “yea”; even if it does owe an unsung debt to the Kidd Video theme, I’m finding “Your Love Is My Drug” surprisingly fresh. The odd tension between the puerile and the self-destructive served as if it were strawberry shortcake lasts surprisingly well; enfantotune terrible chirps of flimsy metaphor intended to make the taking (and not dealing) of drugs sound kinda fun for a change is ever so slightly irresponsible and ever so slightly subversive and ever so slightly listenable. At least for now.

Jonathan Bogart: Whenever I sing along with the chorus, I scrunch up the top half of my face the better to unhook my jaw on the initial “You”; there’s an ecstatic quality to the sound she achieves there that seems to demand it. And whenever the DJ, the station ID, or the next song cuts her off before she gets to “I like your beard,” I get unreasonably pissed off. It’s so the best part of the song.

Katherine St Asaph: Four words. Where hearing Ke$ha’s last two singles ad nauseum failed, one slurred “I like your beard” succeeded: it made her seem likable. It isn’t that the rest of the song is bad — Ke$ha makes a better Katy Perry than Katy does — but the last few seconds nail how her character (I’m convinced she’s consciously creating one) would stumble through talking to the object of her addiction. She’s regressive — slumber parties, co-ed or not, lose their excitement around puberty — and playful as a cover for, of all things, inexperience. God help anyone who adopts this as a role model, but it’s a fine piece of acting.

Edward Okulicz: All her vocal tics are amped up to the max, but this time, damn it, I find it adorable. She falls over her own words while doing a credible stab at sounding strung out on something and roars through the best lines like a pro. I love how this starts out dancey, and then gets even more bouncy and euphoric in the chorus, because it keeps me coming back for more. It’s the great dance-pop single I always hoped the last Ashlee Simpson album was going to sound like.

Alfred Soto: We like the drugs, the drugs that go boom. I can hear very faint traces of Kylie’s “Love At First Sight” in the chorus, which might explain my instant attraction to this, the slinkiest and most attractively forthright of Ke$ha’s singles. For the first time her shallowness sounds smart, and the wink doesn’t feel like a sock in the gut.

Michaelangelo Matos: This is so deliberately dumb it has to have been planned that way, just like the new wave it calls up. You don’t just come upon something like this by accident, because if you were that witless you couldn’t lift your finger to the sampler. The chorus chant is just slow enough to make me think they figured that’d get every word in so no one could misunderstand anywhere, at all. And it works. It will likely not escape my head for a month. It will eat its way into my skull and I will be helpless to do anything but raise this grade to a 7 or even an 8. (There is no fucking way this is a 9 or a 10, not tomorrow and not 20 years from now.) But for now it’s just a skillful irritant, meaning it is free to do its work.

Keane Tzong: My favorite thing about Ke$ha is the weird sincerity that colors her performances, and the way that that sincerity never impedes her from being as playful as she wants to be. Here, she’s married that skill to a metaphor that allows her to giggle and wink her way through verses that are essentially an acknowledgment of people’s conviction that she is a walking disaster. If she did that with less ease than she does, each explosion into the chorus — hollered and sincere and indelible — wouldn’t be the wonderful surprise it is: more than anything, that transition serves as a reminder of just how skilled Ke$ha is at controlling the story she tells.

Anthony Easton: I have said what I can about the Ke$sha wars; I think this is not nearly as sophisticated or as interesting as “Stephen” or “Party at a Rich Dude’s House”, nor as amusingly dysfunctional as “Tik Tok”.

7 Responses to “Ke$ha – Your Love Is My Drug”

  1. Tolerable, but to me it feels like she got lazy midway through the songwriting process and only wrote half a chorus.

    It just DOESN’T RESOLVE. Imagine if the chorus to, say, Like a Virgin was just “like a virgin, touched for the very first time” repeated four times. Really, really incomplete.

  2. Hmm. I would have assumed that drugs were her drug.

  3. I am pleased to report that, against my self-prediction, I can no longer remember this song.

  4. Video’s out now. Would have bumped it up at least a point for me.

  5. The beard bit is amazing and I haven’t heard a DJ cut it off yet. I’m considering it the song’s hook.

    It’s a shame that this basically just sounds like MuchDance 98, no? Kinda like that Roll Deep single, except that it also seems to take its cues from recent Black Eyed Peas as well?

  6. Much too high a score for a song which is this much weaker than Tik Tok (but it’s still easily better than the abomination that was BlahBlahBlah).

  7. Spent about an hour trying to figure out why this reminded me all of a sudden of Lisa Germano. Of all people. I guess there’s a possible path from point A to point B, as far as their personas go, but it would be horrific and tragic and unpleasant.

    For the record, I’m pretty sure it’s that this song is really cheerful about being really pathological, kind of like The Dresses Song. That and a few of the melodies here (around the “I think about it all the time…”) sound eerily similar to something Lisa would write and/or sing.