There was a time when I was ashamed to profess my love for Ke$ha for fear of being labeled as way less hardcore than I really am, but ask me if I give a fuck today.
Don't get me wrong, I totally understand how Hollywood-born blonde girl rapping can be kind of annoying, but if you're in need of a pick me up, this album does the trick. Ke$ha's goal for her sophomore album was to resurrect rock 'n roll in the form of her pop music, and while I don't know that I'd go that far, the influence is definitely apparent.
Tuning down the autotune quite a bit, and accepting support from some of the industry's biggest and brightest - will.i.am, Dr. Luke, and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, to name a few - seems to be a winning recipe for the whiskey drinking, glitter covered pop princess. This album is as diverse as a pop album can get, drawing influence from 1970's rock 'n roll and modern hip hop, as well as her Nashville roots.
Ke$ha has obviously matured on this record, both musically and emotionally. Her voice isn't cluttered with bad effects and autotune, her songwriting has gotten more complex, and she's writing about things that really matter, like old friends, broken hearts, and living life to the fullest. Although Ke$ha isn't brushing her teeth with Jack Daniels on this record, she still knows how to have a good time, from telling her ex-boyfriend he has a "teeny weeny" to making "Dirty Love" with.. Iggy Pop? Overall, Warrior is a feel-good pop album with just a hint of maturity and rock 'n roll.
Hands down - best pop album of 2012.
Ke$ha (a.k.a. Kesha Sebert) is credited as a writer on every track of Warrior. She is also the writer behind radio favorites "Till the World Ends" (Britney Spears) and "Time of Our Lives" (Miley Cyrus).
The album opens with this club kids' anthem, a blend of dubstep-inspired pop and Ke$ha's signature "white girl rap".
"We are the misfits, we are the bad kids, the degenerates, we ain't perfect but that's alright. Love us or hate us, nothing can break us, better believe us, times they are-a-changin' tonight."
Benny Blanco described this track as "old hippie rock", which I guess could be true if the hippies mated with a 1980's popstar and then dropped acid. Although last week's tragedy in Connecticut has brought about some controversy to the song, "Die Young" is an obvious hit for many reasons, but most importantly, I think this song is important because Ke$ha has proven to the world that she can write a great song without a ton of vocal effects.
"I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums, oh what a shame that you came here with someone...so while you're here in my arms, let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young."
Another party anthem for the Animals. Judging by this kitten video, I'm assuming it will be the second single.
"I don't wanna go to sleep, I wanna stay up all night, I wanna just screw around. I don't wanna think about what's gonna be after this, I wanna just live right now."
Thinking of You
This is by far the standout track of the album, which starts with pounding drums and progresses into synth-pop dreaminess. Ke$ha calls her ex a slut, then tells him to suck her dick. She also calls his new girlfriend fugly. Best part: Ke$ha yodels in the chorus. It's everything I ever wanted in a pop song.
"I heard our song on the radio and I'd see your face everywhere I go, I thought I'd call just to let you know I've been thinking of you, thinking of you... but now my song's on the radio, and you see my face everywhere you go, I thought I'd call just to let you know I've been thinking of you, thinking of you."
This is the song you won't get out of your head. The chorus is chart-topping material (thank will.i.am for that), and Ke$ha alternates between pretty, *slightly* autotuned vocals to hardcore rapping... I mean Ke$ha can actually spit. It's no surprise she's gained respect among seasoned rappers such as Andre 3000 and Snoop Dogg.
"I'm fresher than that Gucci, them boys they want my coochie, I say no, I'm no hoochie, yo homegirl hatin', I say who she, Ke$ha don't give two fucks, I came to start the ruckus, and you wanna party with us cause we crazy muthafuckas."
Wherever You Are
A sappy love song with electro edge. Lots of effects and lots of noise, paired with pretty verses of bubblegum vocals and simple guitar.
"Something in your kiss made my body electric - you set me free. That night brought to life all the magic that's inside of you and me."
Dirty Love feat. Iggy Pop
Ke$ha definitely channels her inner Joan Jett on this song, with fierce vocals and grinding guitars... Iggy Pop and Ke$ha are a match made in rock 'n roll heaven.
"Santorum did it in a v-neck sweater, pornos produce it, but a wild child can do it better."
Move over, T. Swift. Drawing obvious influence from her Tennessean roots, Ke$ha recounts the mischief and friendship of her youth in this soulful ballad.
"Ain't it funny how time flies, fades into gold, now I wanna do a drive-by but I can't find the road."
Only Wanna Dance With You
Punk-inspired guitars and drums accompany Ke$ha's raw vocals, detailing a mostly drunken love affair.
"Drinking wine on the cement outside 7-11, fell in love on accident, now it doesn't matter."
I can't tell if I've stepped into a time warp or a spaceship. Ke$ha has created the ultimate electro-ballad, while also taking some influence from dubstep.
"When you take my body to the stars, I believe it, boy this love is supernatural, can you feel it?"
All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)
By far my personal favorite, a song about not giving a fuck and dancing your ass off.
"Been spending too much energy on stupid shit when honestly I wanna get high, just wanna get high with everyone else here - baby all that matters is the beautiful life..."
Love Into The Light
Another glimpse into the Animal's softer side. Probably the most personal song on the album, this is Ke$ha's rebuttal to the scrutiny she's received after the success of her first album, Animal.
"I'm not a model, I'm not a saint, I'm sorry but I am just not sorry cause I swear and cause I drink."
The prettiest pop song. Ke$ha's vocals are sharp, passionate, and accompanied by a small but powerful group of backup singers and delicate acoustic guitar.
"When I was lost, I found you. When I was broke, you bought me shoes. You were my first, and damn it, this hurts."
Gold Trans Am*
This song is about sex. A total homage to the 1970's and muscle cars. Stereotypical Ke$ha.
"Sweet ass mullet caught my eye, now you got me jonesin' for a mustache ride."
I foresee this song being played at a lot of gay bars. That's not a bad thing. This is the prettier twin sister of Britney Spears' "Till the World Ends".
"Life, a beautiful and fragile thing floating in the galaxy - I'm gonna let it set me free."
A folk-influenced song exploring the connection between two people in another life.
"Then we made it through the Ice Age, but I lost you in the Crusades, I built the Pyramids for you, babe, just to see your face."
*Deluxe Version only
Listen to the album in full via Spotify after the jump!
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