With 20+ writers and a full dozen producers, I feel it’s hard to call “Warrior” Kesha Rose Sebert’s album by any stretch of the imagination. You could say that its her voice on the album, but with the heavy use of auto-tune, you can’t even credit that robotic squeal of a voice as hers. This is yet another formulaic money-making Frankenstein monster. It is a perfect picture of everything that is destroying integrity and artistry in the musical world. It is the ultimate picture of music as industry and not as art. But, philosophical ranting aside, Does it suck?
Let me say this first and foremost: I am not going to be having the same kind of song by song breakdown of this album. I would have to participate in some sort of ritual bleeding to cleanse myself if I did that. Instead, I am going to break this album down into three simple sections: The Music, The Lyrics, and The Past.
I will say, if you could isolate the music of this album, it would be, for the most part, an enjoyable electronic dance album. There were a few parts that the Music Business Conglomerate really made me stop and go, Huh…that didn’t completely suck. There is a breakdown in the title track “Warrior” that was particularly fun. Unique? Not at all. But fun? Yeah. There is also a particularly fun vocoder solo during the bridge of “Thinking of You” which builds to a predictable but fun reprise of the chorus. Not to say the music is all fun. There are still songs like “Crazy Kids” which as unbelievably bad verse track and the completely overused whistle over acoustic guitar pre-chorus. I wonder if they took the whistle track straight from Moves Like Jagger. Like any pop album I have listened to in the past five years (with the exception of Mama Monster, of course) the music starts to wear on you. By the time you hit the end of the album, you are so worn out by tired and overused cliché chords, forms, and breakdowns that you just want it to end.
I really thought this album was going to show a maturing in the lyrical quality of the many people who write Ke$has lyrics. The first song almost had me tricked. It was no deeply written sonnet or heartstring plucking ballad, but it showed some level of promise. It was about more than just partying and being sleazy. It was about fighting for what is right and standing up. I have always said that one of the things that puts Lady Gaga on a different level than most pop artists is that her lyrics work on a lot of levels. They tend to support more than just partying and being generally whorish. This was what always kept me from being able to listen to more than four minutes or so of Ke$ha in a given month. Her lyrics were always so stupid. Not to mention her voice is annoying, her music is atrocious and she is one of many symbols of the death of art in the eyes of most of America, but I digress. All I mean to say is I thought there might be some growth in the lyrics on this album. Then the second song started and this line was uttered.
“That magic in your pants is making me blush.”
From that point on, the album just continued to prove to me that there is no growth or maturity for Ke$ha. Only magical penises, shots, and young hunks.
I can’t help but try to compare this to Ke$has previous work, in hopes of finding some level of redeeming quality. Once again, the album started strong (relatively). Warrior showed a strong electronic track, mildly meaningful lyrics and the possibility that we might find maturity on this album. But that is the one and only time on the entire album that you will find that. As it progresses you find the same tired and worn tricks that Ke$ha used on her last album and a half. You could practically play many her classics right over the top of this album and it would fit perfectly. Both “C’mon” and “Thinking of You” sound very similar to “Tik Tok”. The “newer” songs are not good. Iggy Pop’s feature is disgraceful in all forms of the word. Wonderland is what I can assume to be Ke$has attempt to be more like Taylor Swift (I cant say for sure because I don’t listen to Taylor Swift because it’s against my religion). And honestly, by that point, I gave up. Maybe the last few songs are a mini-epic with deep thematic material that works on multiple levels, but I think I can say with some assurance, that this is not going to be the case.