Ke$ha - The Harold Song
If “Animal" is a manifesto in a grand and almost obvious sense, a thesis statement for Kesha’s early work, then "The Harold Song" is almost the opposite. By opposite I mean that they’re desperately intertwined, that "The Harold Song" is just as sweeping and grandiose as "Animal" but also so pointed, with so much more bloody specificity, the raw pain of it taking on texture and name. "Animal" acknowledges the indispensability of tragedy and death and fear at the core of Kesha’s glittering party-world, but "The Harold Song" is that tragedy. “Animal” knows that the world is full of blood but “The Harold Song” is bleeding right in front of us.
One of the things I Iove about pop music is its tendency toward the broad and vague; common, easy words that are simple to apply to the self do not lose specific value just because their reach is broad. You’re still the one listening.
But “The Harold Song” is slightly different; it dwells in detail, it concerns itself with specificity. Maybe you identify with it but it is still about Kesha in an inescapable way, and in the process it encompasses, even within its own raw loss, an idea that lies at the core of Kesha’s discography:
we promised that this would last forever
but now I see
it was my past life
a beautiful time
Infinity can exist within finite experience. Everything ends but over and gone are different things and death is a malleable word. Glitter is a sharped-edged thing and every monumental pop vagueness draws or at least pulls roots from wounds with specific, awful contours. This song is a wound. This song has a name.