the unbearable lightness of ke$ha

Is it me, or has Ke$ha’s music gotten a little bittersweet? There’s a plaintive note in some harmonic line that suggests that the queen of stuttering and sloppiness is ready to hang up her ripped tights and, God forbid, spend a night in reading her high school journals and drinking chamomile. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but haven’t you felt it lately, too? Doesn’t it seem like your salad days are behind you? Aren’t you, in spite of yourself, behaving with a startling amount of dignity and sense?

Feeling like I’m a high schooler / sipping on a warm wine cooler”

She’s grown aware of her mortality, or at least of the reality of aging. A single taste evokes a vivid memory, and she’s swept back into a past that seems, suddenly, like it was another life. I found an old body spray, my freshman year staple, in a medicine cabinet at home some months ago. I sprayed it and suddenly I was sure that I was eighteen again and that I had a pressing set of logic problems and a hickey to attend to.

Better pack a toothbrush / gonna pull an all-nighter”

She’s developed a healthy sense of pragmatism. Gone are the days when she could trust her oral hygiene to a bottle of Jack. Perhaps her dentist, like mine, gazed into her open maw critically and suggested that she purchase and wear a $457 night guard to cut the grinding that’s destroying her gums. Would Ke$ha wonder how to reconcile a life of non-commitment–a life of, at the most, three-month stands–with the cold reality of a night guard? When is it okay to bust out the night guard? 

Perhaps Ke$ha hasn’t crossed that bridge yet, but she’s certainly learned to plan ahead. Next thing she knows, she’ll be packing a change of clothes, too. After all, that dude only lives a few subway stops uptown from work, and wouldn’t it just be easier to stay over?

“Oh, what a shame that you came here with someone”

Ke$ha knows the pain that is being a twentysomething lone wolf and watching the rest of the world couple off. Perhaps she, too, has wasted a few hours commiserating with My Friends Are Married. It’s indeed a shame that the object of her affections came here with someone. And it’s a shame that repeats itself in every produce aisle and Starbucks line and Junot Diaz display at the bookstore. The handsome devil you might have shared a few seconds’ worth of eye contact with a year or two ago is there, but there’s someone on his arm now, and they went to Big Sur last weekend and they might take rock-climbing classes this spring and they love brunch.

Ke$ha recognizes that her glory days are fleeting. She can’t get away with warbling in a sparkling American flag poncho for much longer. Before she knows it, she, too, will be home at ten on a Friday, asleep on the couch in front of Netflix with a familiar pair of arms wrapped around her. She might even like it.

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