Saturday, December 8, 2012

Track By Track Review: Kesha - Warrior

Kesha's second studio album was released December 4th. It's the follow up to her #1 album, Animal, and it's successive EP, Cannibal.

Warrior: Kesha has knack for making incredibly catchy title tracks, and Warrior is no different. While the "War-e-er-e-er-e-er" hook is strangely irritating, and the break down slows the fast paced energy, her rapping is actually pretty good and the verses carry a lot of energy. It's still a strong single choice.  B+

Die Young: Die Young is one of those love-it or hate-it tracks. The current #3 hit deserves some credit for putting acoustic guitars into a straight dance-pop song. With some pretty good un-auto-tuned vocals and a freakishly catchy lyrics, I love it. A-

C'mon: It feels like a standard Ke$ha track, which isn't necessarily a BAD thing, but she did promise this album would be different from her previous efforts. That chorus is again, freakishly catchy even though the lyrics are on the weaker side. And her vocals are actually pretty strong here, even belting out an E5 at 2:55. B-

Thinking of You: Prior to your first guess, this is NOT ballad. This is more of a "Grow a Pear" kiss off track that is deservingly performing well on iTunes. Kesha isn't sugar coating anything on this track, bluntly saying "suck my d**k" twice. This would easily be a Top 10 hit but she will probably have a hard time getting radio to play something so blunt. But hey, if S&M did it, Kesha can too. You will probably be hearing "I thought I'd call just to let you know, I've been thinking of you" for a long time. Oh and that "Call Your Girlfriend" breakdown in the bridge? Perfect. A+

Crazy Kids: From the moment the whistling starts, you know you're in for a club banger. The verses are actually stronger than the chorus's on this song, with Like a G6 instrumentation. Again, Kesha is surprisingly blunt on the lyric portion, and she truly does not "give two f**ks."And she even throws out an impressive (albeit auto-tuned) F#5 in the bridge. Single? Again, lyrics are gonna be problem, but hey, it is Kesha. A-

Wherever You Are: Kesha is one of the most sensitive people to be on the B-List, her vocal deliveries on ballads are always tear jerking. However, the production isn't doing her any favors here. C+

Dirty Love (Feat. Iggy Pop): Well here it is everyone, the rock song she has been so eagerly promoting. Iggy Pop seems to be more drunk than Kesha on this track, which is saying A LOT, and it may be for the best that he not be on the track, even if it is standard rock. The hook is sure to be a hit on tour, but the song is too short to leave much of an impression. C

Wonderland: Hey lookie here, another rock song! The production on this ballad is begging to be featured in some cheesy romance-flick, that organ just screams Cliché. Unfortunately, this song is like a black hole, sucking the life from the rest of the album. D

Only Wanna Dance With You: One of the most light- hearted, genuinely fun tracks on the entire album. This one is begging to be featured in a rather good romance movie montage. With the kind of Euphoria only the best songs can muster, Kesha and those irresistible guitars make an other wise weak track one of the strongest. A

Supernatural: The infamous ghost sex song. "When you take my body to the stars, I believe it" may be one of the most creative Kesha lyrics we've seen. It might be possible next year that we'll have two piano-led dubstep tracks on Top 40 radio next year, with Ellie Goulding's Figure 8 being it's worthy companion. This just HAS to be a single, it seems impossible for it not to be a massive smash. A+

All That Matters (The Beautiful Life): Something about this capable "shut down the dance floor" track is keeping it from being as memorable as the rest of the album. C

Love Into The Light: After such a fun album, it's one of those "UGH WHY" moments when that tiny bass comes in. But fear not, the chorus saves the momentum of the album from being lost. Kesha's vocals are pretty raw here, which adds the necessary emotion to the break-up power ballad. The chorus creates that drifting, free fall feeling that Sara Bareillis pulls out on 90% of her songs. B+

Deluxe Edition Tracks

Last Goodbye: Kesha is once more deceiving with the title, Last Goodbye is shockingly not a stripped ballad. It's a ballad, but it's one full of hope. You can't help but reminisce of an old flame when listening to that sweeping chorus, that almost calls upon Mumford and Sons for inspiration. "Promise me you won't cry," she begs, but strangely, you might just do the opposite. A

Gold Trans Am: "This song makes me want to have sex with my car" are the first words that shock your ears when you press play. That "We Will Rock You" foot stomp hits you instantly, and then Kesha takes over the rest of the track. "Let me see what you're packing inside that denim" she commands, well then. That chorus is strangely very summer-euphoria. B

Out Alive: Holy. F**k. This song will have you shaking parts of you that you didn't even know you could shake. Easily the best chorus of 2012, sorry Carly Rae. Think of a "Let's Go" chorus with 200 times more energy. I pray for the sake of the music industry, this unfortunate Deluxe Edition track gets "Va Va Voom" treatment, and makes its way to mainstream radio, because this song is a sure fire Top 5, if not #1. A++

Past Lives: It's hard to come down from that crashing chorus on "Out Alive," but Past Lives takes you back to reality. She is obviously carrying a heavy heart weeping out "time after time" and puts her best song writing skills to work, creating a tale of a lost love whom she "lost in the crusades." A

Warrior is the overall package. You get some of the raw vocals Kesha promised, along with her standard auto-tuned glazed tracks. She gives us more of the emotion we saw on "The Harold Song" in 2010, as well as more of those overwhelming dance floors thumpers we needed. Katy Perry and Rihanna might lose some sleep over this record. Watch out everyone, Kesha is back, and better than ever.

Vocals: C
Lyrics: B-
Music: A+
Overall: A-