Ke$ha has always been an artist that has divided music audiences. Bursting on to the scene in 2009 as the featured artist on Flo-Rida’s number one single, ‘Right Round’, and then releasing her ubiquitous début single, ‘Tik Tok’, the artist is well-known for her excessive use of Auto-Tune and her floor-filling beats. Having now released her second studio album, Warrior, is Ke$ha sticking to her guns or trying something new?
Die-hard fans of ‘trash queen’ Ke$ha won’t be disappointed with this album. Sticking to what she does best, album opener and title track ‘Warrior’ is a slight progression from the stinking fabulous ‘Cannibal’. ‘We were born to break the doors down / Fighting till the end / It’s something that’s inside of us / It’s how we’ve always been’ she bellows over her standard pounding, Europop beats. Arguably her best track to date, ‘Die Young’ follows. Ke$ha continues to be ground-breaking and vibrant, here starting off with a seductive acoustic guitar, and then building to the throbbing, catchy chorus. Second single, ‘C’mon’ continues the catchy theme with its animated, synth-soaked chorus.
Dr Luke (of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream fame to name just one of his achievements) is very much apparent on this album, with ‘Thinking Of You’ and ‘Crazy Kids’ to single out just two tracks that have his sound stamped on them. ‘Thinking Of You’ is a mid-tempo, man-hating, electro track, and ‘Crazy Kids’ is a blend of dub-dance and acoustic-pop, with a loud-and-proud ‘Miss Independent’ kind of flavour. If chosen as future singles, we could see both easily landing in the Top 10, being commercial yet original at the same time. ‘Love Into The Light’ also pleases with its airy, retro feel.
Ke$ha does seem to grow up a tiny bit with this release though. Trying to mature yet continuing to keep a Budweiser filled cup in her hand, Ke$ha includes some impressive ballads on Warrior. There’s ‘Wonderland’, which has a vaguely jazz-influenced feel, and the brilliant, slightly dub-influenced ‘Supernatural’, which both suggest that this artist doesn’t need to rely on Auto-Tune quite so much. A rock influence has also driven some tracks on Warrior, with the slightly crazy but just-about-works duet with Iggy Pop, ‘Dirty Love’. It’s trashy, yet somehow still slightly soulful – hearing is believing with this one.
Ke$ha is a prime example of the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. She knows exactly what to do to seduce her fans and leave them with a big, dance-soaked smile on their faces. Continuing to surprise, however, with some stand-out vocal moments and impressively fun tunes, this album is a great successor to her previous efforts. Minus one or two less memorable tracks, Warrior is near pop perfection. On the deluxe version, be sure to check out ‘Last Goodbye’, which arguably should have been included on the standard collection.
Go Get It: ‘Die Young’ / ‘Last Goodbye’ / ‘Supernatural’
Forget It: ‘Only Wanna Dance With You’