Song of the Day #574: Ke$ha – ‘TiK ToK’

After missing so many pop star hitmakers over the years I feel like I’m finally in the right place at the right time to discover Ke$ha. Of course, I just found out that her hit song ‘TiK ToK’ actually came out in August of last year, so I guess I’m not as hip as I thought.

But her debut album, Animal, was released just a few weeks ago. I don’t own it, nor do I plan to, but I know who she is and that’s a start. I’m also immensely grateful to her for knocking Susan Boyle off the top of the charts after the Scot’s impressive run. I don’t know why I harbor such disdain for Susan Boyle, but I can’t deny that I do.

I actually feel a little guilty about that. I mean, here’s a woman who isn’t attractive (by showbiz standards, certainly) but managed to transcend the image-obsessed culture. She became a sensation by blowing away — through sheer vocal talent — a room full of people ready to laugh her off the stage. And she didn’t just become a YouTube phenomenon, which is common enough these days… she went on to put out a CD that broke all sorts of records and nearly knocked Taylor Swift from her lofty perch as the top-selling artist of 2009. What’s not to like?

But something about that Britain’s Got Talent video irks me. It’s so blatantly manipulative that it turns what’s supposed to be a moment of genuine surprise and discovery into something cheap and corny. Of course that’s the fault of the show’s producers, not Boyle herself. But I can’t shake the feeling that she was in on the whole thing, playing up the frumpy cat-lady image to sweeten the payoff when she proved she could actually carry a tune.

I’m not sure how this Ke$ha post became a post about Susan Boyle. I suppose it’s appropriate that it’s a gimmicky artist like Ke$ha who dethroned Boyle, who — talent aside — is herself a great big gimmick.

Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy
(Hey, what up girl?)
Put my glasses on, I’m out the door
I’m gonna hit this city (Let’s go)
Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack
Cause when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back
I’m talking – pedicure on our toes, toes
Trying on all our clothes, clothes
Boys blowing up our phones, phones
Drop-topping, playing our favorite cds
Pulling up to the parties
Trying to get a little bit tipsy

Don’t stop, make it pop
DJ, blow my speakers up
Tonight, Imma fight
Till we see the sunlight
Tick tock, on the clock
But the party don’t stop
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh oh (x2)

Ain’t got a care in the world, but got plenty of beer
Ain’t got no money in my pocket, but I’m already here
And now the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger
I’m talking about – everybody getting crunk, crunk
Boys trying to touch my junk, junk
Gonna smack him if he getting too drunk, drunk
Now, now – we goin till they kick us out, out
Or the police shut us down, down
Police shut us down, down
Po-po shut us -

Don’t stop, make it pop
DJ, blow my speakers up
Tonight, Imma fight
Till we see the sunlight
Tick tock, on the clock
But the party don’t stop
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh oh (x2)

DJ, you build me up
You break me down
My heart, it pounds
Yeah, you got me
With my hands up
You got me now
You got that sound
Yea, you got me

DJ, you build me up
You break me down
My heart, it pounds
Yeah, you got me
With my hands up
Put your hands up
Put your hands up
No, the party don’t start until I walk in

Don’t stop, make it pop
DJ, blow my speakers up
Tonight, Imma fight
Till we see the sunlight
Tick tock, on the clock
But the party don’t stop
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh oh (x2)

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #574: Ke$ha – ‘TiK ToK’

  1. Amy says:

    Ummm…. I think you need to post a genuine SOTD devoted to Boyle – STAT, lest you lose all credibility whatsoever! I have little feeling one way or another about the woman. Other than that first video, there isn’t another single note I’ve heard her sing. Still, for all the reasons you mention – that powerhouse voice, the come from nowhere ascent, the ability to sell just so many records to such diverse groups of people (I was particularly impressed when we found out she sold out all of her albums in Nashville!) – she warrants a SOTD every bit as much as this Britney Spears lookalike twinkie you’re featuring today.

    As for the marriage of genuine folks taking a shot at an impossible dream and “cheap and corny” televison, haven’t you just written the pitch for virtually every reality show out there? I’m sure those bacherlors and bachelorettes (at least some of them) were actually interested in finding a partner, and I know the grand majority of people who try out for American Idol are truly hopeful they’ll get a chance to work in the recording industry (although many certainly do show up to sing “Pants on the Ground” or prance around in a chicken suit). So… I wouldn’t fault Susan Boyle for that. Hell, it’s what makes the video so fantastic.

    Now about this Ke$ha… Daniel just popped over and said he was familiar with this song. How lovely. She’ll brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack because she doesn’t plan to come back home tonight – just the sort of lyrics I want my fine son listening to. And he’s never even heard the actual song – just kids in his class singing it :) This is undeniably catchy, and I can certainly understand why it’s a hit on the club and Bar MItzvah circuit. Don’t see where it would make much a dent in my music collection, however.

    Meanwhile, how about that Susan Boyle??!! Where’s her SOTD? Tick Tock…..

  2. Dana says:

    I assume you spoke of Boyle in this Ke$ha SOTD post because you were aware of their upcoming duets album “Ke$ha Pops the Boyle,”:)

    I can understand your annoyance with Boyle on some level, but I also agree with Amy that you really can’t begrudge the reality TV vehicle that manipulated the public. After all, that manipulation does occur on all reality TV shows including, of course, your beloved Survivor. Still, even given the producers’ manipulation efforts, i don’t think even they could have seen this phenomenon coming. After all, they produce the show to manipulate passion and emotion about dozens of other contestants every day and never hit this level of notoriety .

    As for this Ke$ha–never heard of her, never heard of the song and I could live a long life without hearing either her or this song again. Not that it’s bad, it just ain’t my thing.

  3. Clay says:

    First, don’t let me give the mistaken impression that I’m a Ke$ha fan, as I am not. This song is fine for what it is but I agree with Dana that I will happily live the rest of my life without ever hearing it, or her, again.

    But I feel the same way about Susan Boyle.

    Of course reality TV is manipulative, but that particular example is particularly annoying (perhaps because our friends across the pond do it better/worse than we do). The worst parts of Survivor are when they try to push the whole “being out here changes your life forever” routine, which they fortunately have backed away from in recent years in favor of more blindsiding and backstabbing.

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