Love her or hate her, Ke$ha always inspires some good debates. Her defenders say she’s a pop rebel who tweaks sexual double standards. (Well, she does call a guy a ”slut” on her new album, Warrior. Feminism!) Her detractors say she’s a shameless promoter of boozy toothbrushing, no better than a frat boy. But neither side gives her credit for the fact that she’s actually really funny. Just listen to the sultry slow-burner about hooking up with a ghost (”Supernatural”) or the duet with Iggy Pop that claims Rick Santorum keeps his V-neck sweater on during sex (”Dirty Love”). Now ask yourself, could Rihanna pull that off?
Indeed, Ke$ha’s filthy jokes may be what separates her from her peers who practice ghost abstinence. Warrior was co-written and co-produced by longtime collaborator Dr. Luke, who also helmed Katy Perry’s smash Teenage Dream, and you can hear strong echoes of that record here. The bratty electro-romp ”Thinking of You” finds her defending a woman’s right to sing about some jerk’s ”teenie weenie,” à la Perry’s pants-off directive ”Peacock,” and the stupid-fun confetti blaster ”C’mon” sounds like a before-the-hangover prequel to ”Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).” Elsewhere, Ke$ha’s digitally candy-coated vocals are almost indistinguishable from her lollipop-bra cohort’s. Of course, that only makes the party-rap breakdowns better, because there’s still one thing that’s 100 percent Ke$ha. When you need someone to rhyme ”saber-toothed tiger” with ”warm Budweiser,” you know who to call. B