by Alex Falcone
I know this because the pop star with a password for a name recently released her sophomore album and named it Warrior which is illegal if you're not actually warrioring. The record touches similar themes to her 2010 debut Animal including drinking, having sex while drunk, and drinking.
The lead single "Die Young" is much like her other alcoholic anthems, and that's when she's at her best. No matter what you're doing while you're listening, it feels like Ke$ha is cheering you on. "Die Young" is about drinking and having sex while drunk, but if I'm doing my dishes, it feels like it's about dishes. "I'm doing these dishes quickly like I'm gonna die young."
Warrior is big on the theme of living it up because you might die young. It's a bit disconcerting, actually, because while most people don't know how or when they're going to die, with Ke$ha it's definitely from liver failure and the time frame is the next five years.
The parts of the album where she stumbles are the tracks where she gets away from being a beer leader. "Wonderland" feels like somebody was listening to Taylor Swift and said "Ke$ha, this is what people want. Sing like this." It's so off putting, I wanted to tell Pandora I disliked it so it would give me my old Ke$ha back.
She continues her stylistic window shopping with "Only Want To Dance With You" which sounds like she's massacring a song by The Strokes at a karaoke bar. "Gold Trans Am" sounds like Queen wrote the verses and Shania Twain wrote the chorus. "Past Life" sounds like it was written by somebody's mom for a talent show.
The only interesting exploration of genre comes from "Dirty Love". At first, it sounded like a rip off of Iggy Pop until Iggy Pop STARTED SINGING. Then it seemed more like he was setting up a franchise inside her album. Perhaps it works so well because it's easy to see where their Venn diagrams overlap. She's going to die young, he's shocked he didn't.
Near the end of the album, Ke$ha tries the dying young theme by negating its opposite. "[No One's Getting] Out Alive" is about life in general or, for Ke$ha, her 20s.
For my taste, I'd prefer Ke$ha stick to the Righteous Horny Drunk Chick routine. She does it better than anybody else. Ruining other genres, she's only mediocre at that. So put on tracks 2, 7, and 15 and let's do some fucking dishes. You only live once.