Ke$ha scores with new CD
New CDs released this week include “Warrior,” by Ke$ha; “O.N.I.F.C.,” by Wiz Khalifa; and John McLaughlin’s “Now Hear This.”
With 2010’s multiplatinum “Animal,” Ke$ha gained international fame for hyperactive genre-splicing within a Top 40 framework.
On “Warrior,” the 25-year-old electro-pop songstress dials down the Auto-Tune on her vaguely countrified drawl, as a phalanx of producers continue infusing her radio-ready material with faint experimentalism.
Take, for example, the title track’s glitchy, avant-techno-styled breakdown, or the electric “Only Wanna Dance With You,” which not only chugs along with Strokes-like pacing but features vocals from that band’s frontman, Julian Casablancas.
It doesn’t all compute — the saccharine, Coldplay-lite “Wonderland” proves monster ballads aren’t Ke$ha’s forte. Yet the album’s variety is admirable, and its vibe playfully celebratory — evidenced by lyrics like “Feelin’ like a saber-toothed tiger / Sippin’ on a warm Budweiser,” from the four-on-the-floor “C’mon.”
Sadly, all parties must end, and nowhere in its slightly excessive 45 minutes does “Warrior’s” pure pop sugar quite match the unabashed catchiness of, say, Carly Rae Jepsen’s ubiquitous “Call Me Maybe,” nor the universality of pop stars past like Madonna.
Wiz Khalifa, “O.N.I.F.C.” (Atlantic)
Il Divo, “Greatest Hits” (101 Distribution)
John McLaughlin, “Now Hear This” (Belle Antique)
special to The Seattle Times