Pop Music

Poptimystic: We Are The World cannot unseat Ke$ha

Appearing in an episode of The Simple Life and then singing uncredited backup vocals on the worst single of last year would not appear to be the path to pop enshrinement. But here is Ke$ha, who did exactly that and is now parked on top of the Hot 100.

Above is the video for her next single, "Blah Blah Blah" which features 3OH!3 and has not seen an official release (hence the crappy quality).

"We Are the World" comes in at number two. Rebuilding Haiti aside, we can't decide if that's too low or too high. On one hand, it's enormous and shiny and features lots of A-listers trotting out their best Kumbaya. On the other hand, it's a straight-faced remake of a song that embodies the worst part of '80s pop music. It is telling that there is absolutely no point in embedding just the audio track -- this thing lives on picking random celebrities out of the chorus and seeing b-roll from Haiti.

Chris Molanphy, in his resurrected chart column, does an interesting job of explaining why this incarnation of the song was not as successful on the charts as the original. He also points out why, despite relatively massive sales of the charity single, Ke$ha was able to keep the pole position. Basically it boils down to airplay, where "We Are the World" got basically nothing.

It's hard to read too much into the increasingly irrelevant Billboard album chart at this point, but this week's winner, Soldier of Love, is worth noting. Sade, ten years after her last release, does not seem like the sort of act that could move units in a zombie industry. But here she is, selling 500,000 copies and earning her first ever number one debut. The proximity to Valentine's Day probably helped -- she is, after all, one of the best baby-making singers ever.

The whole album is worth listening to, but start with the title track and lead single. Sassy!

In this week's mandatory Lil Wayne update: His atrocious foray into rock, Rebirth, continues to top the rap albums chart. Seems like it should be competing in the most depressing of all Billboard charts: Rock Album, wherein the top five are: Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Live, HIM, Owl City, Now: That's What I Call Love and Rob Zombie. Yikes.

Not that it matters much: Behind Rebirth on the rap chart is Young Money, which is basically still Lil Wayne (what, you think people are buying it for Gudda Gudda?). Incidentally, with his last month of freedom before a year-long jail sentence, Wayne started a Twitter account. His first tweet?

"im super new to this twitter shit but wudup tho !..........follow me biot¢h..........wudup mak......happy bday LO......8 days of freedom..ym"

Sounds about right.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky