Ke$ha has always been a little divisive, and her new single “Die Young” is a prime example, as the critics are split in their opinions. Intriguingly, the most enthusiastic reviews are the ones effusing that the Dr. Luke party jam is Ke$ha doing what Ke$ha does best — while the negative reviews seem disappointed that she didn’t step up her game on this single and experiment with a new sound. But, if even her detractors expect so much, at least public opinion of K$ has risen since her “Tik Tok” days.
To see what all the critics made of Ke$ha’s big comeback, check after the jump.
:: Rolling Stone responded favorably to the track, writing: “The hedonistic pop star packs fiery flair into her raging rally cries, delivering inspiring messages: ‘Don’t care who’s watching when we tearin’ it up.’ It’s the Ke$ha we know and love. Party on.”
:: Spin was disappointed, too: “Keep on dancing till the world ends, because we’re born to die, and so on. It’s not that Ke$ha needed to change her approach for the new LP, particularly, but this one feels a bit more, well, blah than her previous hits. Here’s hoping the rest of Warrior is a bit more fierce.”
:: The Los Angeles Times noted: “It’s no major departure from her classic template of ravey pop spiced with gum-smacking raps and occasional vocal acrobatics. But even when delivering a stock-and-trade message about partying, and how we should all do it now, she hangs out on the phrase ‘Die Young’ to make that fate sound less like a thing to be avoided, and more like the goal is to live fast and leave a good-looking corpse.”
:: Entertainment Weekly was impressed with the track, saying: “Don’t say Ke$ha doesn’t know how to party like a warrior (though one with a short lifespan). The dance-floor animal just released the new single from her upcoming second album Warrior, and it has all the pop swag of a high-school girl sneaking a bottle of Smirnoff Ice into prom.”
:: NewNowNext complained that the song doesn’t show enough growth or evolution, explaining: “That’s why it’s a bummer that ‘Die Young’ sounds like a typical Ke$ha song. Why does anyone need to listen to it, if they’ve already got ‘Tik Tok’ or ‘We R Who We R’ on their iPods? Why buy the third version of a song you’ve already bought twice?”
:: MuuMuse thought that K$ could use another drink, writing: “She might have sobered up a bit too much this time around. ‘Die Young,’ which was co-produced by Benny Blanco, Dr. Luke and Cirkut, suffers from ‘Starships’ syndrome – that is, that nagging ‘Hey, doesn’t this sound just like…’ trend of Reducto-Pop: It looks like a hit, plays like a hit and sounds exactly like something we’ve already heard done in a dozen different ways already.
:: Chart Rigger agreed: “…as for the vocals, K-hole comes off sounding like she hasn’t progressed an inch since the release of her debut smash ‘Tik Tok’ three years ago. The verses are delivered with her signature talk-rap-singing, and unfortunately, she ain’t really saying all that much new. Ultimately, what saves ‘Die Young’ are those synths.”
:: About.com though, thought the single’s only con was being “flawless,” writing: “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.”