For more than a month now, a rather resolute group of Ke$ha fans have been circulating a petition to free their favorite artist from the clutches of producer Dr. Luke, whom they accuse of stunting her growth as an artist by forcing her to sing “the same generic, predictable, recycled pop songs.”
To date, the petition has been signed by more than 3,000 fans, and now, the “Free Ke$ha” movement is presenting its most compelling argument to date: a pair of unreleased (and decidedly De-Lukeified) demos that not only find Ke$ha flying her freak flag, but showcase her voice rather than the Good Doctor’s studio polish.
One track, “Dirty Liar,” has Ke$ha soulfully singing about a honey-lipped lover who’s done her wrong, complete with sassy backup singers, dramatic strings, a harmonica line and a loping backbeat reminiscent of early-’90s Trip Hop. The second song, “First Love,” is less of a departure; in fact, its melodies and whirring electronic burbles recall the Warrior single “Die Young,” and, of course, she’s once again mentioning ghosts. But, as she sings about her first flame, you can’t help but notice the fragility in her voice … a trait that, more often than not, is flattened out of her finished songs.
“First Love” was supposedly taken from Ke$ha’s Cannibal sessions (no word when “Dirty Liar” was recorded), and it’s not exactly clear how the “Free Ke$ha” folks got their hands on either song … though both tracks are now available on the Movement’s first-ever mixtape — a 14-track album called What Ke$ha Wants: The Creative Freedom Movement that’s currently available for download.
To date, neither Ke$ha or Dr. Luke have commented on the tracks (or the petition). MTV News’ attempts to contact their reps proved unsuccessful by press time.