New Reviews: Ke$ha, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and More

January 5th, 2010 by Rolling Stone Leave a reply »

Photo: Bedder/Getty

After making Hot 100 history last week, Ke$ha — who’s primed to be one of the breakout pop stars of 2010 — releases her debut album Animal this week. Bolstered by the hit “TiK ToK,” the 22-year-old Nashville native recruits pop gurus Max Martin and Dr. Luke for her rookie LP, which features Ke$ha’s bratty raps over percolating beats and buzzing basslines. In his three-star Rolling Stone review of Animal, Jody Rosen writes that the album is “repulsive, obnoxious and ridiculously catchy,” thanks to Katy Perry-esque mix of songs like “Party at a Rich Dude’s House.” Still, Ke$ha promises to be an electro force to be reckoned this year. “Fear for the future of civilization, and dance,” Rosen writes.

Also in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, on stands tomorrow, we review a handful of records that were released during the holiday crush of 2009. For starters, there’s Alicia Keys’ The Element of Freedom, which received a three-star review from RS‘ Rob Sheffield. The main problem on this disc is that Keys doesn’t sound like the cocky singer we’ve come to know since her debut; the production compresses her voice, and “a great tune like the breakup blues of ‘Love Is Blind’ can make you a little hungry to hear Alicia Keys sing it,” Sheffield writes. There are highlights, however, and they come in the form of Prince homages “Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart” and “This Bed.”

As for Mary J. Blige, her Stronger With Each Tear earned a three-and-a-half star review from Sheffield. Blige also plays with Auto-Tune on her latest album — despite Jay-Z proclaiming the death of the studio trick — but those experiments work in the diva’s favor on Stronger, especially in the case of Starg...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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