As I listened to the title track of Warrior, I felt that Ke$ha was doing what she had always done. The reviewers had professed that the auto-tuned Ke$ha from Animal and Cannibal was in the past, but this was proved entirely wrong. I found her voice impossible to listen to after the second verse, the song is static and none of the elements come together as one unit. It is as though the music, lyrics and techno beat have been written and created without taking into account the other components. It is chaotic and messy but then I thought, isn’t this exactly how Ke$ha wants her audience to see her?

It is clear in songs like ‘Warrior’, ‘Crazy Kids’ and ‘Die Young’ that Ke$ha promotes her image of debauchery and hedonism. In a way it is refreshing to find a female pop artist that is completely comfortable with being honest about living a far from innocent existence. Compared to the likes of Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus who sing of soul mates and happy endings, Ke$ha bizarrely seems to sing far more candidly. This is something I found myself both liking and hating about this album.

During the majority of tracks I found the chorus within each catchy and listenable. In ‘Crazy Kids’, the chorus introduces the song with raw vocals backed with acoustic guitar and a somewhat weak whistle, which has not been electronically changed at all. However, the sheer crudeness of the lyrics in the verse: “I’m fresher than that Gucci/ Them boys, they want my coochie”, causes the overall feel to be a bit cheap.

This album has a number of collaborations with seemingly great writers, such as those who have written songs for Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Pink and Maroon 5. Unfortunately the songs they have had a part in, like ‘Thinking of You’ and ‘Die Young’, reminded me of the diary writings of a spoilt teenager. The Flaming Lips and The Strokes feature in ‘Past Lives’ and ‘Only Wanna Dance with You’, which show a higher level of music maturity, as they do not rely on a continuously tired techno beat.

The most noticeable additions to the album can be seen in ‘Dirty Love’ where Iggy Pop takes center stage to create, in my mind, one of the worst tracks on the album. It is repetitive and does not offer anything interesting or new. Thank goodness we are able to learn a little something about love around the world through the lyrics “Cockroaches do it in the garbage cans, Rug merchants do it in Afghanistan”.

I found this album difficult to enjoy, but Ke$ha intermittently showed us a slightly different side to her. For this reason I would definitely suggest giving a couple of tracks a chance: Ke$ha’s new dimension revitalises what I felt was a dissatisfying formula. This is evident in ‘Wonderland’, which is completely striped down, a state we often see Ke$ha physically in her music videos but rarely hear in her songs. This song showed that the occasional collaboration can be successful with Patrick Carney of The Black Keys giving the unprocessed edge Ke$ha needed to create something fresh.

Frankie Newton

…Frankie has been listening to Otis Redding – White Christmas…

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