In the two years since Ke$ha’s Cannibal EP, she has kept listeners guessing, and the latest song to emerge from her upcoming November 30 album Warrior is surely no exception. One moment she was snagging a rare André 3000 guest verse on her original “Sleazy” remix, and the next she was offering up a stunningly raw Bob Dylan cover. Meanwhile, Warrior was going to be “cock rock,” with such probably unexpected influences as Iggy Pop’s David Bowie-produced landmark The Idiot.
Those of us who were excited for Ke$ha to continue her off-kilter not-giving-a-fuck trajectory will have to keep dreaming about what might’ve been. The newest taste of Warrior, “C’Mon,” like “Die Young” before it, is relatively ordinary, party-themed electro-pop. Ke$ha’s brand of hedonism is still proudly downmarket, but it’s a bit more generic here (“I wanna just live right now”!), and the buoyant chorus would be more suited to her friend Katy Perry. In fact, the song’s most striking feature is its a cappella introduction, a seemingly clipped and looped choir of digital angels. “We gettin’ rowdy,” Ke$ha says three times, and she mentions sipping both wine coolers and Budweiser, but somehow what came across as part of her persona on the debut’s “Tik Tok” or “Take It Off” now sounds more like a caricature. Also, what’s with the Hooters name-check? Doesn’t Ke$ha seem more like she’d frequent Twin Peaks? Is this 1996?
The more guitar-oriented “Die Young” has also resurfaced, as a Dr. Luke remix featuring Three Six Mafia half Juicy J along with Wiz Khalifa and Simon Cowell-touted rapper Becky G. No one particularly distinguishes him- or herself, and you can probably guess what’s coming: Juicy J raps about booze and women, Wiz Khalifa raps about booze and weed, Becky G sounds way too excited to be here and employs the technique of saying the same word twice in a row (“cray cray” does not appear to refer to the abbreviation for Kreayshawn). On the other hand, spring break is only a few months away.
As the photo above suggests, and the video at the bottom of the page proves, Ke$ha also recently covered Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” in Los Angeles with Johnny Depp and the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. Her talking-blues cadence and slight twang there were miles away from what’s been in her most recent studio outings. Isn’t there a major-label suit out there who’s willing to take a chance on Ke$ha following her own weird muse — letting her own freak flag fly, rather than repackaging these flagging freak impressions?