BBC SOUND OF 2013 – High hopes or safe bets?

BBC Sound of 2013 long list: High hopes or safe bets?

The BBC has announced the long list of candidates for their Sound of 2013 top tips list. After the shocker of a list they came up with for 2012 (full review here) I better give it the once over and save everyone else the effort..
2013 is just on the horizon and a whole new year of pop music is within thrusting distance.  Lady Gaga will unleash her new 50-track, life-coaching, pompously-titled ARTPOP (I still have to shout it), hopefully just focussing on decent tunes this time rather than all the nonsense of leaking the lyrics, releasing 5 singles at once on iTunes, preaching the good word about our lord and saviour and rapping about cake; After releasing three pretty decent singles, Little Boots may finally get around to finishing her second album,  rather than messing around with DJ sets for crowds who don’t care and Marina will probably attempt to release How To Be A Heartbreaker again before 679 tell her they’ve run out of money/ she’s too ugly/ people stopped paying attention in June.  
However! Aside from all that, a new crop of ‘artists’ will be rocking up with fresh and exciting debut albums (before the inevitable label pressure and sophomore burnout). The burnout is a year away, at least, so we’ll focus on who made it onto the Sound Of long list this year. When the BBC names their tips for the year, they always include an embedded first single or a ‘buzz single’, so that’s what we’ll judge them on.  It’s not unfair: if you want people to buy your book, give it a decent cover. [EDIT: The buzz single nonsense isn’t working out this year, as the BBC is instead pimping live sessions. Screw that]
So we have, in alphabetical order:


Summary: Fled Africa and came to UK as a child, broke free from the choir, signed by Gary Barlow. Likes horses.
Decent artist name?: Her name is Amy, she stylises it as A*M*E. Not very clever.
Popstar image? She wears a hat with horses sticking out the side of it, of course she looks like a popstar.
Buzz single: Ride or Die
Video budget?: £300. A lot of green screen going on but the numerous horses make it worth watching.
Is the song any good?: It has Nadia Oh style moombahton sirens, but they are not used to good effect or with the same enviable, robotic, deadpan expression.  
Worth getting excited about?: Potentially. A good amount of horses but needs more hooks. She’ll probably make the top 5.
One for… Maybe Heart if she distils the pop a bit more.


Summary: She sings, he does the electronic music. See La Roux, or 10,000x better, Goldfrapp. One  of three nominees for the Brit Critics’ Choice award.
Decent artist name?: She is called Aluna, he is called George. It’s as half-arsed as you can get.
Popstar image?: Not  an unattractive pair, a fair amount of serious face, but if you saw them in the street you would think they were going out for a fancy meal at Prezzo rather than going on Top Of The Pops.
Buzz single: The song on the Sound Of site was a Live Lounge set and I’m only here for studio recordings, so the first one that pops up on Youtube is called Your Drums, Your Love.
Video budget: £100. Filmed in what looks like a fancy art gallery with several slow dancers but it’s not exactly fireworks and lasers.
Is the song any good?: Not really. It’s forgettable and it not a future wedding disco staple.
Worth getting excited about?: Only if you get excited about having a salad. Might make the top 5 depending on how dull the others are.
One for… Midday Radio 1


Summary: She’s a rapper, she raps about a troubled past.
Decent artist name?: Sounds like a stripper.  
Popstar image: Unlikely to have a circus themed world tour.
Buzz single: New York
Video budget: £0. There doesn’t seem to be one on the official youtube account.  
Is the song any good?: Of course not. Hand claps with rapping over it. A chorus of ‘I run New York’. As for songs about New York go, it won’t have you crooning ‘START SPREADIN’ THE NEWS’ and it ranks way behind Paloma Faith and Alicia Keys/Jay Z.
Worth getting excited about?:  Angel Haze will not make the top 5 and will surely not have any hits.
One for... 1 Xtra


Summary: The girls they call her London, cause she is based in London.
Decent artist name?: There have been several famous female singers who go by their Christian name, so it’s a safer bet than calling yourself too wacky.
Popstar image: Attractive female with nice hair and good legs. Like a pop version of Sugar from teen lesbo-drama Sugar Rush.
Buzz single: Hard to Love Somebody Ft. Nas
Video budget: Probably had some money thrown at it due to the rapper feature.
Is the song any good?: She sings well but there’s too much rap. If you look for other songs elsewhere, such as Sticks and Stones, she sounds a bit more like early Marina. She sings well live and she’s quite enchanting.
Worth getting excited about?: I’m getting excited, but I always do get excited about curly hair in pop.
One for... Radio 1 and Radio 2.


Summary: Scottish, a good start. Electronic, an even better start. Male and female vocalists, everything is looking good.
Decent artist name?: No. I suppose you would pronounce it ‘Churches’ rather than trying to squeeze out a chain of 6 consonants. As well as the unnecessary V, it’s written all in CAPSLOCK, which is also a pain. WE ARE CHVRCHES OR CHURCHES! LOOK AT US WE’RE NEW!
Popstar image: They have beards and T-shirts , well the men at least, but not everyone has to be a Freddie Mercury or Debbie Harry.
Buzz single: The BBC are making it hard this year, pimping out their own live performances of each artist so you don’t know which one is THE buzz single.  I’ve plumped for The Mother We Share.
Video budget: I’m not even sure if that’s an official video. It has a baby walking around in a forest. I hope we don’t have another one of these bands who are camera shy. What’s the point in that?
Is the song any good? It is actually rather nice, good mashing of keyboard keys, the girl’s vocals are better than those of the gentleman which feature on another song I listened to. This is worth more than one play though.
 Worth getting excited about?: Surely worthy of a top 5 placing. I think CHVRCHES will most likely be favoured among the cool kids but never quite scaling the top of the charts.
One for… Radio 1


Summary: Three sisters in a rock band.  They apparently used to play with their mum and dad in a band, which is not desirable.
Decent artist name?: It’s their surname. How lazy are this lot getting?
Popstar image?: They look like Hansen fronted by Avril Lavigne.
Buzz single: Don’t Save Me
Video budget: The amount it costs to rent out a basketball court. Basically they’re playing basketball a lot.
Is the song any good? Not particularly aggressive female-fronted soft rock.  Probably one for fans of Florence’s less pop moments.
 Worth getting excited about?:  Does anyone get excited about girl rock bands?
One for… Absolute Radio


Summary: Guitars and a teenage boy moaning about his quality of life in the city.
Decent artist name?: Absolutely not.  It’s a bit Krusty Krab.
Popstar image?: He’s a ginger teen and wearing a camouflage jacket.  Pop is not kind to ginger men, but he doesn’t seem to be making an effort with image. Certainly no horse hats here.
Buzz Single: Rock Bottom
Video budget: The bus fare to the sea front.
Is the song any good?:  “I’ve hit rock bo’om” . Summing up his placement on the list.
Worth getting excited about?: i wouldn’t even be excited if he were my brother.
One for... Absolute Radio, if anyone.


Summary: Warning, Irish rock band with a member called Vinny. Abort!
Decent artist name?: Sounds like a blood pressure tablet.
Popstar image?: Shove the good-looking one at the front! Everyone else hide behind him!
Buzz single: All I Want
Video Budget: The cost of facial prosthetics. Quite an engaging video about a man with a non-human face and his struggles with love and office life. Perhaps the best video of the lot.
Is the song any good?: It’s a bit Coldplay, so it’s not really for me.
Worth getting excited about?: Doubtful.
One for... Absolute


Summary: Woman singing slow inoffensive songs. The second of three nominees for the Brit Critics’ Choice award.
Decent artist name?: It’s just her name, which doesn’t exactly scream creativity.
Popstar image?: Buzz cut and wearing a collared shirt and jacket, also holding a flower. Hardly the bloodied pumps and mile-high hair favoured by our dear old Winehouse.
Buzz single: She.
Video budget: £0. It’s a picture of a flower.
Is the song any good?: She sings well enough but if the BPM were any lower I would be in a vegetative state.
Worth getting excited about?: Not one for me.
One for… Radio 2


Summary: Five-piece mixed gender American folk /rock band.
Decent artist name?: It doesn’t sound very cool.
Popstar image?: Not exactly extroverts.
Buzz single: The John Wayne.
Video budget:  Not huge but they feature in it and there is a range of scenery so that is appreciated. Someone also gets a fistful of cake in their gob.
Is the song any good?: It’s certainly listenable. There are some nice harmonies. It’s a bit Mumford though.
Worth getting excited about?: This isn’t so much one to excite but I think they could sell  a bucket load of records to dads who like to have CDs in the car.
One for… Radio 2 or Absolute.


Summary:  Four piece indie (gulp) band who formed at Reading festival, which means they are probably hooligans, but we can’t assume that’s the case. Their song Best of Friends was voted single of the year by NME.
Decent artist name?: If you’re going to name yourself after a sweet, don’t choose the worst one of them all. What’s wrong with Sugar Mice?
Popstar image?: Need I bother?
Buzz single: Best of Friends
Video budget:  Enough to pay for drinks for all the ‘fans’ after the performance.
Is the song any good?: It’s more landfill indie, the singer sounds awful and the drums are so loud that they block out the rest. Dangerous lack of synthesisers.
Worth getting excited about? if you were in a coma between 2005 and 2009
One for... Fearne Cotton


Summary: Another band. Indie rock, all wearing sunglasses. That kind of Foals thing.
Decent artist name?: Will cause problems when googling.
Popstar image: Standard indie rock chaps image.
Buzz single: Bloodshake
Video budget: £0. A static image of a watermelon cut into a peace sign. Best static image of the list though.
Is the song any good?: It’s not what I’m looking for. It’s more inoffensive soft indie rock.
Worth getting excited about?: No.
One for… Radio 1


Summary: Androgynous female (I think) four-piece rock/punk noise.
Decent artist name?: Acceptable. I’d like it if they were bloodthirsty pirates but this is the music scene, not offshore Somalia.
Popstar image?: Again not aiming for the pop market. Gender is anyone’s guess. Haircuts all match.
Buzz single: Husbands
Video budget: No video. A nice hand-drawn picture of a bird preying on a snake though.
Is the song any good?: Not if you’re looking for trousers round your ankles pop. There was some whispering and some shouting and I was glad it finished before someone started screaming.
Worth getting excited about? Not at all.
One for... NME Radio


Summary: RnB, electronic fellow who seems to have been bubbling under for a while now.
Decent artist name?: Proving that you don’t need as many E’s as everyone else to have a good time.
Popstar image: Good hair.
Buzz single: I don’t know which is the right one again, so youtube offered me Wicked Games.
Video budget: It looks like it has been filmed by someone who has made a video before! Hooray! But it is all black and white, so not a treat for the eyes.
Is the song any good?:  He has a good voice but he swears more than is necessary.  It’s not an uncomfortable listen.
Worth getting excited about?: He has got the potential to deliver something above par.
One for... Radio 1


Summary: Guy singing folky songs with ‘confessional lyrics’. The last of three nominees for the Brit Critics’ Choice award.
Decent artist name?: Just simply his name and it’s no ‘Simon Le Bon’.
Popstar image?: Not one for the red carpet.
Buzz Single: Another Love
Video Budget: £5. He sits in a chair for a while and a woman tries to interact with him.  Sometimes the camera zooms out, sometimes it zooms in. A real rollercoaster.
Is the song any good?: It gets better as it goes along and the pace picks up a little bit. It’s a nice enough song but it is unlikely to achieve worldwide success.
Worth getting excited about?: Maybe he’ll front the John Lewis Christmas campaign next year.
One for… Radio 2 through and through.
So popwise, and we are really only looking for pop here, this is a pretty dull list. You’ve got your usual emotional, introverted singer-songwriters, your loud rock bands who sink without a trace, electronic duos, token rapper and record label high hopes. As for the Brits Critics’ Choice Award, I could not care less. Why does it always have to be someone so boring and inoffensive? I’d suggest Tom will be the first man to take it.
Who would I put in my top 5 though? If we’re going on who interests me most it would be:
1. CHVRCHES – That electro pop sound I love
2. Arlissa – If her label gets some good songs out of her, I have high hopes
3.  The Weeknd – The best out of the ‘emotional’ ones.  Could be good if he perks up a bit and washes his mouth out.
4.  A*M*E – If she gets some more catchy hooks into her songs, she has the image and attitude to carry herself rather far. HORSES.
5. Little Green Cars – I’m toying between LGC and AlunaGeorge for 5th plays. I expect it’ll be the latter, although I’d prefer the former, but I think we can expect Laura and Tom to creep in there to take the edge off things.
I expect I’ll be way off and these things are never predictable, but you can certainly see who will be nowhere near the top. I would happily place money on it, if I had some, but I’d rather give them all a slap around the ear with a slipper and tell them to cheer up a bit. I want to dance like it’s 2013 and that’s not going to happen if you keep reminding me how we’ve all hit rock bottom. After Psy’s introductory effort with all the horse nonsense, A*M*E is making sure 2013 will once and for all be the year of the horse. Which Chinese year is it for 2013? I bet it’s the year of the horse!

Nay. It’s snake.  

But fear not, 2014 is our year! Start making preparations now! You’d be a foal to miss out.


Review: Kesha – Warrior

Album Review: Kesha – Warrior
Brace yourself…

I’m entering into this venture very apprehensive about what I might hear. Kesha, and she shall henceforth be known as that, I’m not getting involved in that dollar $ign rubbish (we all know Kesha is in this for the art, not money) released her debut album in early 20120 and it contained little of true value. Before that, she had entered into the world of pop music as the pop-up bimbo vocalist on Flo Rida’s Dead or Alive rip off, but then she reappeared with her own album, Animal. It contained unbelievable monster hit Tik Tok, which sounded pretty similar to California Gurls (did you hear the mash up of the two of them?) , but was  was a slight guilty pleasure of mine. 
Obviously it was terrible in every sense of the word, but it did get me dancing in the discotheque and that takes some doing. I liked her ghastly lyrics about brushing her teeth with whiskey, a terrible oral hygiene routine (insert Kesha oral hygiene joke here) and I also liked her heavily autotuned vocals, which made her sound like a robot running on piss and stale beer. Kesha was basically a one-woman LMFAO, before LMFAO appeared, carving out a brief career as an entirely unnecessary two-man, uncle-nephew Kesha.   I expected Tik Tok to be all we heard from Kesha, but several other top 10 singles followed, including the paltry Blah Blah Blah. Lord knows who was buying them, but they weren’t really quality tunes. Kesha then re-released her album like everyone else, with a few extra tracks tacked on, including Blow which had a pretty good video.
Kesha’s image at the time seemed to be unwashed hipster. As much as people joked that she had never had a shower, she must have had to apply all that grime before making an appearance, making a physical effort to make herself look revolting for the sake of being cool. Then any further blemishes were covered up with a hefty pouring of glitter, like a liberally-spread, metallic concealer.  


For an idea of which image Kesha is going for now, since popstars have to have a different image for every new release, you only need to look at the cover for new album, Warrior. As you can see, she seems to be going for a slutty, robot-tribal-parrot look, which is an improvement on glitter and piss, so congratulations are in order there. The album cover as a whole is a shocker though; crudely pasted image onto stock background with weird colour settings applied, a lens flare at the top and two mismatched fonts. It’s all a bit work experience again, but that’s Kesha’s charm, ironically purposefully shoddy-looking .
But what is the music like? You may be expecting too much if you think Kesha has undergone an extreme transformation, but you could be pardoned, given the heavy media bombardment labelling Kesha a rockstar and exclaiming that she has worked with credible acts including car insurance salesman Iggy Pop, The Flaming Lips and The Strokes. It’s an improvement on Flo Rida and 3OH!3, I suppose but it’s hardly George Michael ft. Elton John, is it?
What about the music then? I’ve saved you the time by having a listen to them and highlighting the highs and lows.

1. Warrior

Title tracks Warrior features an ear-piercing autotuned vocal and hook of warri-ori-ori-or. Just when you think Kesha is going to actually sing a song, she starts doing her talk-singing again and crashes all hopes of a step-forward. As soon as I put this on, both cats fled my side, so I suppose it has some benefit. Warrior is a simile-laden ode to being a misfit but being born to fight until the end etc. etc. I’m not sure how much fighting she’s done in her life so it’s perhaps a bit superficial but the song has a beautiful middle 8 that sounds like its straight out of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Most ‘Kesha’ lyric: ‘Cut the bull shit out with a dagger’.
Score on a board game scale: Yahtzee; It doesn’t look promising from the outset, there is a brief moment of excitement like when you roll all sixes, but ultimately you come out of it having gained nothing.

2. Die Young

Second up is first single Die Young. Kesha performed this on Graham Norton recently (performed being the operative word, she certainly didn’t sing much of it) and was thoroughly panned by Twitter users, but then anybody who appears on the box is torn about by Twitter’s unforgiving users (I should know). Die Young is about having a nice party and making the most of things before you die from an overdose or untreated infection. Lyrically it’s very similar to track one and structurally it’s sung chorus followed by weird talky verses again. There is a nice bit where she says ‘drum’ and it does a double drum whack, but there’s not much of any worth here either, just Kesha in party mode, doing shots again.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘That magic in your pants is making me blush’
Board game scale:  Junior Monopoly. It’s the same as it’s always been, you can make as many versions of it as you like, even dumbing it down to child level, but it will never, ever be appealing.

3. C’Mon

From the name alone you know it’s going to be no Bridge Over Troubled Water, probably a song about partying, but books and covers and all that. Lyrically the song is about drinking, going to a party in clothing that would make your father have a fit, then pulling some jock, taking him home and manhandling his man handle.  Kesha doesn’t want to go to sleep, she wants to stay up all night etc. She’s certainly not taking any risks. This will probably soundtrack many regrettable nights out, which is a sad state of affairs.
Most Kesha lyric: It’s Kesha by numbers, I’ll go for “Come, gimme some of that, yum like a lollipop’ or ‘I’m in a crop top like I’m working at Hooters’, so deep you shouldn’t be allowed near it without your 50 metres certificate.
Board game scale:  Frustration. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are, rockstar image and all, only to realise that any apparent progress was for nothing, as someone just landed on you and sent you right back to the start again.

4. Thinking of You

Kesha sounds like Katy Perry on the chorus of this one, autotune really is a bizarre thing. I suppose you wouldn’t get the likeable Katy saying some of the crude things Kesha says in this one and that is what sets apart popstars these days. If Kesha manages to release 20 singles from this album, like KP did, I’ll eat all hats within a five-mile radius.  It’s basically a you-spurned-me-cad-look-at-me-now song. She classily ends it with a reference to the size of the gentleman in question’s man handle. Always the classy lady, our Kesha.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘Found out you’re full of it, I’m over it, suck my d***’
Board game scale: Kerplunk. You wouldn’t play this with anyone you actually like. It’s not worth the time invested setting it up, which, in the case of the song, is pressing play.

5. Crazy Kids

References to being who you are and that won’t change? Check. References to dancing and partying? Check. References to drinking? Cognac. Brand names mentioned? Gucci. Thinly-veiled sexual metaphor? Chasing my kitty cat, check. Oh god. It’s a Will.I.Am co-write. Probably the worst, most diluted party song so far.  It’s also got a bloody awful whistling part, which I could certainly have done better.
Most Kesha lyric: The whole blasted thing, ‘They chasin’ my kitty cat / they know my zodiac / I’m no virgin or no Virgo.’
Board game scale: Subutteo. WHO IS THIS FOR? Surely nobody can actually enjoy this? It’s just taking up space on the shelf. The people who like football play real football, the people who like board games don’t play sport based ones.  WHO IS THIS FOR?

6. Wherever You Are

Again, a painful amount of autotune. Kesha is in her true love mode now, not dancing on bars but tangled up in the sheets of some bloke she met in an off licence. In a way it’s a pleasant break from the last five identical tracks, but the chorus is headache-inducing, she sounds like she’s singing into a fan, when it makes that weird robot noise. I assume others did that as a kid? In other news, Kesha rhymes ‘kiss’ with ‘electric’, showing her poetic skills, but it’s another one to be skipped. *Perfect advert targeting* – Spotify just played an advert for tequila, they’re slightly off, as this was another whiskey song, but that’s fairly well targeted. No army recruitment adverts here.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘Red Red Red Wine, Whiskey on your tongue, tangled up in your sheets.’
Board game scale: Crocodile Dentist. You’ll come out of this experience with your head tucked between your knees, rocking yourself gently. Far more stress than it is worth.

7. Dirty Love

It’s the Iggy Pop song, this is made clear by the intro of IT’S IGGY POP!!!! Almost a pat on the back, a bloody-hell-how-did-I-pull-this-off? It’s actually not that horrendous, given the Smart Price ingredients chucked in here.  Obviously Kesha doesn’t want Iggy’s dirty love, or does she? He is so shrivelled now, he needs some good hydration and he won’t get that with Kesha around. On the vocals front, Kesha is more shouty and spitty than talky, so we finally hear the edgy side that NME has been telling you that the whole album would have. The lyrics are pretty funny, don’t expect to shed a tear or anything, but Iggy sums up the sound of the whole album: “Cockroaches doing it in garbage cans”.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘Champagne tastes like piss to me!’ is a good one.
Board game scale: Hungry Hungry Hippos. It’s short, it’s sweet, everybody is just mashing everything as hard as they can and making a racket rather than using their brains. A lot of balls get gobbled along the way.  

8. Wonderland

It’s a stripped back one! There’s even a piano in it! Kesha is singing about how things were easier, “Life was so simple then / living life like our last weekend’. How long ago was ‘back then’? Track 7? I’m not sure if this works very well after seven or so tracks of lolpop, shots and shagging.  It’s nice to have a break of pace but when a ballad is completely insincere, you can’t help wondering if there’s any point in it. She sings ‘We didn’t even think that time would ever come to an end’. That’s simply untrue, she was planning to die young earlier. I can’t cope much longer.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘Now I wanna do a drive-by but I can’t find the road’. So. Deep.
Board game scale: Guess Who. Where has Kesha gone?! Who is this person that has lost their way and doesn’t mention a single drink? Does she have glasses? Does she have short hair?

9. Only Wanna Dance With You

This track features The Strokes, which is pretty clear, if anything, they sound distinctive. It’s nice to have some guitars on it and I can’t help thinking if Kesha would sound better in a rock band. She’s better at shouting than singing. Casablancas provides some backing vocals and they sound pretty good, he could’ve done us a favour and sung the whole thing though. It’s awfully repetitive and you can’t help thinking that when she sings ‘dance’ she actually means something far more carnal.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘Drinking wine on the cement outside 7-11, I fell in love by accident’
Board game scale: Mousetrap. You hear The Strokes are involved in a Kesha song and you wonder how that came about. Surely a lot of effort went into setting that up. Souls were sold, divers jumped into bathtubs. When it finally comes to the big reveal, any anticipation and excitement that was left to build up is soon enough obliterated when the mechanism fails or you realise you’ve lost the marble. Or all of them.

10. Supernatural

I saw before I started that this song had a Nik Kershaw writing credit and I thought that was an odd inclusion, but after hearing the opening line, I am almost certain that it one of those moments where a popstar unveils a new song where one part sounds too much like another song, so they chuck a writing credit at the original artist to avoid any lawsuits. See: Life Got Cold by Girls Aloud/Noel Gallagher.  The middle 8 sounds like Daft Punk too, put I don’t see any credits for them. When NME sells you an album saying that Kesha is a rockstar, you don’t buy it thinking that any track on it will sound like Cascada covering Nik Kershaw. Will probably be released as a single though.  In case you wondered, the song is not about the supernatural, despite that ‘news’ story that Kesha made love to a ghost, the song is in fact just about simple fornication with another ruffian.  That bedpost must have so many notches by now that it looks like it’s been whittled by a troupe of scouts.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘Come, take me in the night’. Any takers?
Board game scale: Cluedo. There’s been a murder here. Several murders, in fact, and Kesha is standing in the corner of the study, brandishing a candlestick, taking on anyone who fancies a go at her.

11. All That Matters (The Beautiful Life)

Kesha starts off reminding everyone IT’S KESHA, in case you had forgotten. There is absolutely nothing to see here, it’s mostly Kesha saying ‘All that matters is the beautiful life’, which happens thirty-six times.  What does it even mean? I’ve lost all will to live at this point. For more on the Beautiful Life, see the far superior Ace of Base song, which has a fantastic video which in some versions has CGI bubbles and sometimes doesn’t, yet the band members react to the bubbles which are no longer there. It’s an interesting one.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘Put your mother*ckin’ phones up. Light ‘em up. Oh yeah’.
Board game scale:  Monopoly. It just goes on and on forever. The eventual outcome was evident within the first minute, but you have to see it through until the end. It’s one repetitive cycle where nobody is the real winner and you’re lucky if you didn’t crack and flip the board across the room.

12. Love Into the Light

Ending on another slow one. Our friend Kesha, with whom we have shared a very trying forty minutes or so, starts to admit her flaws. Perhaps they were obvious to everyone but herself, but she’s becoming self-aware and maybe she’s starting to sober up after realising the importance of the beautiful life. “I know I’m not perfect, I know I’ve got issues”, she crows, “I know I’ve got a sore past and, yeah, some bad tattoos’. She’s at her most vulnerable. Strike her while she’s down! Kill the beast before she comes back for the bonus tracks. We can joke all we want but this is actually one of the better tracks. Lyrically it’s a bit too swear-filled to be truly beautiful but the middle 8 is very good in this one.
Most Kesha lyric: ‘I’m sorry but I am just not sorry, cause I swear and cause I drink’. 
Board game scale: Scrabble. One for those of us who like a slower pace in life. We like to use our brains. It’s not all going out, necking cheap spirits and grinding on a stranger. Sometimes the most important thing is taking a step back, looking down at your rack and trying to get all your letters out in one go.
Warrior has a handful of bonus tracks that are available to listen to on Spotify, but I can’t bring myself to do that, feel free to have a listen if you think you’re capable though. Bear in mind, these tracks didn’t make the standard album tracklisting, so they will most likely not be much cop.
Overall, considering what I was expecting here, the album is a disappointment. I wasn’t expecting art, I wasn’t expecting to get the lyrics tattooed on my lower back, I was simply looking for some kind of progression. Having famous people want to work with you, or at least to have them willing to accept large sums of money to work with you, is a step in the right direction, but to then churn out the same old rubbish again is a waste of materials.
Considering the album starts out all DRINK DRINK DRINK, I AM WHO I AM, then she gets a bit angry, admitting she doesn’t even like champagne, then she eventually ends up a miserable wreck, it feels like Kesha is going through the five stages of grief in this album and finally heading towards acceptance. I can’t help but wonder what kind of grief she is going through. Perhaps the two-for-one jaegerbombs deal has ended? Perhaps she has too many STIs that the inside of her body looks like honeycomb? Perhaps she’s only just realised SwiftCover doesn’t cover entertainers, so that insurance Iggy made her take out was a waste of money?
Perhaps we’ll never know.
There is a game to be had here. Gather your friends round, stock up your drinks cabinet and put every Kesha track into a playlist and put it on shuffle. Every time she mentions a drink, take a shot of it. If you’ve got a strong liver and no plans for the next few days, it could be a fun but not recommended game. It is really quite surprising how often she name drops an alcoholic beverage in her song. It’ll be a party classic, if you can put up with the music. Never ending fun with a Kesha album, you don’t get that with Adele, do you? DO YOU?
Overall I would give the album a rating of Snakes and Ladders. Just when you think it’s going somewhere, you land on a bloody snake and go back to where you started. The ladders are there, you can see them, there is a visible way out of this hell, but no matter how many sixes you roll, Kesha always has you landing on the snake, sliding back to the days of Tik Tok, which was nearly three years ago now. I say, jump over those snakes, grab that ladder, Kesha.  Climb up it and reach the end. Maybe start on a contingency plan. Learn a trade. You must be able to make some serious money as a female plumber. That wouldn’t be too bad, would it? You’d get a lot of free tea…