The Bottom Line
- Defines the moment in pop music
- Blend of alternative pop and dance pop
- Combination of the familiar with stretching in new directions
- Written by Kesha Sebert, Lukasz Gottwald, Benjamin Levin, Henry Walter, and Nate Ruess
- Produced by Dr. Luke, Cirkut, and Benny Blanco
- Released September 2012 by RCA
Guide Review - Ke$ha - "Die Young"
The genius of Ke$ha is that her music not only emerges sounding thoroughly contemporary, it also effortlessly defines the moment in today's pop music. When she released her first solo single, the mega-hit "Tik Tok," it echoed the re-emergence of dance pop at the forefront of top 40 radio, but Ke$ha also brought her own trash pop approach to define the moment in pop music. With the release of "Die Young," the first single from her upcoming second full-length studio album Warrior, she has accomplished the feat again. Ke$ha's voice and commitment to living life to the fullest on the party dance floor will resonate with any of her fans. However, she also enlists the help of fun's Nate Ruess in a successful effort to appropriate sounds from the current alternative pop boom to once again redefine what is the pop mainstream.
At first "Die Young" sounds deceptively simple. However, there are many musical touches that become even more rewarding after listening to the song multiple times. The guitar sounds that kick off the song are straight out of producer Dr. Luke's work with Katy Perry, but they segue shortly into echoing drums that would make any alternative pop band happy. There are girl group inspired backing vocals, the ubiquitous party rock synths, and a trademark Ke$ha sing-speak break. When "Die Young" breaks down into anthemic vocals underlined by strummed acoustic guitar, we can understand why producer Benny Blanco has referred to the song as, "old hippie rock."
Ke$ha has accomplished that rare feat of following a massively successful debut album with new music that stretches horizons without going over the top. Look for "Die Young" all over pop radio this fall. It is the perfect teaser for a second full-length album. Critics of Ke$ha may have derided her music as superfluous or even a joke, but "Die Young" is the sound of Ke$ha having that coveted last laugh. This is one of the defining pop singles of 2012.