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Freshcut

‘Warrior’ Ke$ha

Don’t hate me – but this new Ke$ha album is good. Kind of really good.

“Warrior,” the 25-year-old’s release, is entertaining from top to bottom. Ke$ha – along with hitmaker Dr. Luke – has a knack for creating carefree and upbeat electro-pop songs that make you want to have a good time. It’s pure fun.

Yes, some of her lyrics are vapid and need work, but melodically, she’s got a winner, especially on the hooks throughout “Warrior.” The will.i.am-assisted “Crazy Kids,” which kicks off with whistling, is anthemic; “C’mon” is oh-so-fun; and “Thinking of You,” about an ex, transitions pleasantly from its thumping verse to its groovy hook. The lead single, “Die Young,” is just as addictive and was co-written with Nate Ruess of fun.

While Ke$ha deserves credit for putting together a nearly-great album, she’s still Ke$ha – therefore, she has her limitations. The songwriting on “Warrior” – which includes contributions from her mother, Pebe – can be ridiculous. On “C’mon,” she rhymes “saber tooth tiger” with “warm Budweiser.” Also, Auto-tune remains her best friend: When Ke$ha hits a semi-high note, she can’t pull it off without the help of studio manipulation.

Her singing is better on “Wonderland,” a slow groove about how her life has changed since she became a pop star (it gets a great drum assist from Patrick Carney of The Black Keys). And “Warrior” is much better than Ke$ha’s other releases, including her so-so 2010 debut, “Animal,” and her terrible “Cannibal” EP.

– Mesfin Fekadu, Associated Press

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