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Ke$ha: Warrior (RCA) 

Ke$ha is about pleasure, often consequence-free, certainly debauched. While Lady Gaga annoys with her didactic streak, condescending to tell us all how to feel about myriad social issues, Ke$ha is refreshingly devoid of social context. We suffered through three decades of Madonna so that we could have someone like Ke$ha—a raging id who gender-fucks without the entire weight of Judith Butler's bibliography suffocating the endeavor, who can tell her cheating ex "suck my dick" on "Thinking of You" and have it register heartbreak as much as female machismo.

Warrior is, as follows, an experience of pure revelry. Perhaps Ke$ha compounds socials ills; perhaps she comments upon them. If the Teen Mom generation actually followed Ke$ha's advice, it wouldn't exist. Ke$ha would never allow some beer-swilling Peter Pan to knock her up.

"Die Young," one of Warrior's standouts, is a clear manifesto of her celebrity. "Oh what a shame that you came here with someone," she sings, without a trace of snot-nosed callousness. So while you're here in my arms / Let's make the most of the night like we're gonna die young." It undercuts monogamy as an idea, giving the listener permission to lose herself in the moment with her object of desire. This album marks Ke$ha's transformation from bitter maenad to hustler-poet. She now gives a fuck, but that doesn't stop her from burning her way through the crowd.

Gaga spends all her time pandering to the gay male sensibility—Ke$ha is actually living it.

More by Sean Bottai

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