22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The Best Pop Album of 2012,
This review is from: Warrior (Audio CD)
Well whataya know? Kesha actually CAN sing, well sort of.
It's been two years since the release of her 2010 EP "Cannibal", and in that waiting period Kesha ducked under the radar, going through a self-proclaimed spiritual journey to find new inspiration. She was also determined to finally knock down the accusations of her vocal talent (or lack thereof). Did it work? In a word, yes.
Perhaps Kesha and Christina Aguilera should have switched album titles, because while Aguilera's 2012 album "Lotus" mainly focused on being a fighter, "Warrior" focuses more on Kesha's own rebirth and new found cause to represent the misfits everywhere. The opening title tracks proudly exclaims: "We were born to break the doors down, fighting till the end. It's something inside of us, it's how we've always been" in a defiant chant. There's "Die Young" the album's lead single that holds influences from "Animal" and "Cannibal", but also steers towards a more tangible sound instead of drum-machines and auto-tune. In fact, auto-tune has been virtually abandoned, even though Kesha didn't abandon her musical parent Dr. Luke. His perfect pop production keeps the flow, but is now ready to let Kesha, the person, come to the forefront and not her hot mess public image. Instead, she's a little more put together, a little more cohesive and now has a musical ambition. As calculated and as pop-machined "Animal" and "Cannibal" were, they were a necessary move for Kesha. Now that she's gotten that out of her system, she now has a cause: to prove to the world she is a credible artist.
Kesha may come across dumb, because she is nowhere near stupid. All of her own songs, and songs she's featured in, are HER creations, with the help of a couple other songwriters. She's sung back-up vocals for other prominent singers, she's worked with the best hit-makers in the music business, if there's anyone who knows how to make popular music, it's her. And "Warrior" proves she is one of the only artists who can not only add 70s rock and light pop/rock to her track list, but throws them in with her signature style and you ultimately wouldn't notice any change of pace. She will never be tasteful, that's for sure, but she's also continuing to stray away from being crude and is entering into taunting and teasing with the disgusting. She knows exactly what goes into making pop that is irresistible and at the same time is expanding her horizons to lean towards messages besides getting sleazy, partying all night and waking up in bathtubs. "Warrior" may not be as bright as the sun and fun music of "Animal", and it also may not be well-suited for the clubs like "Cannibal", but it's all the more compelling because of it. In "Wonderland", Kesha finally masters the challenge of a ballad (this is also proven in the deluxe version with her most raw vocal performance: "Last Goodbye"), in "Crazy Kids" she hits glory notes that no one ever would have thought she was capable of. She can't out-Whitney Whitney, but she can still crank out the hits like her. "Warrior" is the culmination of Kesha's spiritual journey, and this victory proves that we as an audience may not appreciate her as much as we should. It took eleven months, but this is the first pop album that's enjoyable all the way through.
Like it or not, "Warrior" is the best pop album of 2012. Regardless of genre, it's still up there
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Initial post: Dec 5, 2012 7:10:24 AM PST
Wonderland is really a return to traditional ballads for Kesha. She recorded some beautiful ballads in her mid and late teens like Sunday Morning, Goodbye, and While You Were Sleeping that are more along the lines of Wonderland. Many people don't know that Kesha's first actual released recording was a ballad called Invisible on the Barbie Diaries 2006 soundtrack. Kesha and Barbie don't seem like they would ever go together but that's what she was doing three years before Tik Tok came out. There are dozens of unreleased Kesha songs on Youtube going back to her teens that prove she's a very versatile artist that can handle everything from ballads to country to bubble gum pop to rock to hip hop.
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