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Album review: Ke$ha proves to be a ‘Warrior’ with second release, falls just short of perfection

Being a fan of Ke$ha is a lifestyle choice. You’re committing to glitter. You’ll have to defend her offbeat behaviors, like collecting human teeth from her fans to make accessories like earrings and a headdress. Occasionally you might find yourself replacing the letter “s” with “$” in tweets and texts. Or maybe that’s just me?

Ke$ha is reckless, and maybe that’s the best thing about her. She invites her fans to release their inner animals through her undeniably fun and irresistible music.

“Warrior,” Ke$ha’s sophomore album and follow-up to 2010’s “Animal,” officially released Tuesday after streaming free for about a week on iTunes.

Ke$ha skates through multiple genres, infusing “Warrior” with classic rock, dubstep, rap and even includes the occasional ballad. In fact, hearing the two lead singles from the album, “Die Young” and “C’Mon,” don’t come close to accurately pinpointing what the entire compilation actually sounds like. While both tracks are incredibly catchy anthems, there is more gold buried in the rest of the album.

And, of course, there’s even a reference to her infamous gold Trans Am, in the fourth track “Thinking of You.”

Ke$ha lets loose with Iggy Pop in “Dirty Love,” a perfectly addictive track that makes it impossible to deny the girl can really sing. “Wonderland” strips down to the simplicity of Ke$ha’s pure vocals, with no elaborate auto-tuning or throbbing beat, and the result is beautiful.

“Only Wanna Dance With You,” featuring The Strokes, is another of the album’s best, with its upbeat guitar and drum lines and infectious lyrics such as, “Whatever I got to do / I want you to myself tonight / All right / I only wanna dance with you.” The song has an old-school feel that somehow manages to remind me of the Beatles and The Supremes simultaneously, no matter how ridiculous that connection might seem.

Yes, I was able to find fault in my beloved idol. She adopted one of my biggest musical pet peeves in a few tracks on “Warrior” – she says her own name. The “It’s Ke$ha” in the beginning of “All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)” is completely unnecessary.

And some songs, like “Supernatural,” sound a little too heavy on the auto-tuning. Ke$ha is better than that and shouldn’t stoop to the level of Rebecca Black-esque auto-tuning.

But the glitter goddess ends on a high note with “Love Into The Light,” which sounds like what mixing Phil Collins, Frank Ocean and A Fine Frenzy a la “Almost Lover” would sound like. Beautiful.

I’ve spent years defending my love for Ke$ha, but my feelings aside, there is a song on “Warrior” to suit everyone, whether they’ll be willing to publicly admit it or not. Unlikely fans might even find themselves falling in love with her, throwing some glitter or making the most of the night like they’re gonna die young.

Grade: B+

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