Ke$ha is something that I would call “outside of my comfort zone.” Her speak-talk style of singing and dance beats got on my nerves when she first debuted with “Tik Tok” in 2009, and every song after that just felt forced and unapologetically mundane. And then she did a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” and REALLY impressed me. But that was then, and Warrior is now. Don’t think of this just as another Ke$ha album, but Ke$ha: Twirked And Refined.
Warrior starts off with typical Ke$ha fare, pulse pounding electric beats with some of the sleaziest lyrics out there. “Warrior” is the inspirational electro-pop song, with lyrics talking about being okay with imperfections and all of your beliefs, while the first single “Die Young” is the party anthem that will be playing in clubs for the next couple of months. Until “Wherever You Are” comes out, as that is possibly the catchiest song on the album. It starts out rather slow, but it comes in big with a David Guetta-esque hook that should be able to get party goers singing and dancing with their respected love ones.
The biggest surprises, which also happen to be the best songs on the album, are three tracks just bunched together, being tethered by The Stooges frontman Iggy Pop. “Dirty Love” is a duet of sorts between Iggy Pop and Ke$ha where they tell each other about what kind of sex is “dirty,” including a political reference that’s only four months too late. “Only Want To Dance With You” is an upbeat pop song that, brace yourself, shows off some great non Auto-Tuned singing ability. And then their’s “Wonderland;” a nice ballad that shows some emotion that I’ve always felt Ke$ha has been lacking. I want more of this in the future – a more matured Kesha (see what I did there?).
What should come as no surprise, this album has some major flaws to it. “C’mon” is rather boring pop song that feels incredibly recycled from older material – especially the whole sing-talk stanza she throws in there from time to time. “Thinking Of You” has a nice chorus to it, singing about the cliche’d topic of making it big and showing your ex that you are clearly better off. Though the notion is decent, the verses are just plain and uninspired. Speaking of uninspired, “Supernatural” just feels like stuffing at the end of the album, maybe trying to make yet another club banger, but it just falls flat on its face. The last two songs are quite forgettable, and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Even with some good songs and a couple killer collaborations, I ‘m still not a Ke$ha fan. Her party all the time image is a giant turn-off from her music, as it seems like she doesn’t necessarily want to grow up. And then you get little glimmers like “Wonderland,” where she shows us something human under all that glitter. I must say, Warrior is the most palpable album of hers to date. She is by no ways more mature than she was for Animal, but she is making some serious strides to become more personal to even out all of the alcohol soaked into most of her lyrics.
Final Grade: C+
Go Download: “Wonderland”