By Jacob Wittich
KE$HA’S latest studio album Warrior documents her transformation from Jack imbiber (Tik Tok) into wine drinker (Only Wanna Dance With You).
But don’t read too much into this exchange of spirits — she’s still swigging “on the cement outside 7-11.”
Warrior contains many “traditional moments” while not shying away from Ke$ha’s signature “odes to partying, scuzzy boys, crushed cans and late-night debauchery,” according to MTV.
Though the album mixes traditional rock with producer Dr. Luke’s heavy dance beats, Ke$ha admits to FT Magazine that she didn’t want to stray too far from the original sound with which she dominated airwaves after the release of Animal and Cannibal.
“I really wanted to bring as much rock ‘n’ roll as I could to this record,” the pop phenom told FT. “But after a from-the-business-standpoint conversation with my producer, he was like, if you want to have a successful record you can’t just abandon that sound.”
The album has many standout moments through which rock’s influence is apparent, among them Iggy Pop’s guitar riffs over Ke$ha’s Dirty Love, and Black Keys’ Patrick Carney’s pulsing kicks on the slow Wonderland.
The album’s list of rock ‘n’ roll collaborations doesn’t end here, however, and Ke$ha’s vocals are backed by the Strokes on Only Wanna Dance With You.
Contactmusic calls the new album “a statement of intent. And that intent seems to be the intent to party.”
Idolator sums up her sophomore release as “raw, funny and irreverent soundtrack to a generation of low carb beer-guzzling dreamers, set to occasionally crass, but always catchy, pop music.”
the LA Times‘ Randall Roberts argues that Ke$ha is a warrior for the misfits, with her “sick and sexified” fans exemplified by Cannibal’s ‘We R Who We R.
“Warrior has perfected the art of aspirational rebellion and released a joyous celebration of defiance,” Roberts writes. She “preaches on the art of the party like few since Andrew W.K., but also delivers the messages through inventive, beat-heavy instrumental cannonballs.”
Ke$ha’s latest effort further establishes her own niche within the pop community — one in which boundaries don’t exist, enabling her to show off her party-starting antics that she first introduced us to in Tik Tok.
Jacob Wittich is pop music fanatic majoring in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.