To be honest, we’re not really sure where “Only Wanna Dance With You” comes from or if it’s in its final form here—the mp3 sounds pretty poor quality, and there are a couple awkward moments in the song that sound sort of like bad cut and paste jobs—but regardless of where it’s from or where it might end up, we’re pretty pumped about its existence.”Dance” isn’t exactly the Ke$ha that we’re used to—try as people might, there is no way to accurately describe this song using any form of the word “glitter”—but it packs as giddy a pop rush as “Tik Tok” or “Blow,” which probably means it will end up being one of the best pop songs of whatever year it officially sees release.
Unlike the typical 4/4 dancefloor anthems on which Ke$ha made her name, there’s an impressive, old-school swing to “Only Wanna Dance With You,” one that puts it more in the league of The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” and Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It” than anything by Madonna or Britney. Really, if you were to hear it without Ke$ha’s vocals, you might assume it was something off the new Strokes album—it’s got the same kind of classic groove that made songs like “Last Nite” or “Someday” so irresistible, even with a guitar-that-sounds-like-synth hook (which the group perfected on “12:51″) to boot. It’s a good look for Ke$ha, since her general grunginess, obsession with classic rock and thematic predilection towards intoxication and one night stands basically makes her an honorary Stroke in the first place.
And of course, with K-Money’s vocal presence, no one’s gonna be mistaking this for a new single by a New York hype band. The song is still unmistakably K-Money, from the typically silly and boisterous opening lyrics (“I’m so over it with love / Every guy just super-sucks / They just lie and take my stuff”) to the allusions to “dancing with my hand” and getting ready to “blow your pretty mind.” And as fun and addictive as the song’s groove is, it wouldn’t mean much without a chorus to match, but luckily, “Dance” is more than game in that respect, with a double-tracked Ke$ha wailing the title phrase with complete abandon—a simple sentiment, but a universal one (and one that’s only a word or two away from several other proven pop title phrases), and more importantly, one that should be a whole lot of fun to yelp along with while shimmying to it at your local discotheque or watering hole.
While 2011 has been a relatively slow year for Ke$ha compared to some of her pop peers, “Only Wanna Dance With You” sets the bar pretty high for her 2012. Whether or not it’s really her new single—and we sure as hell hope it is—not since Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” has there been a song by a major pop artist that so brilliantly internalized the lessons of pop songs past without sacrificing any of the artist’s personality or appeal. You want to listen to this song right now.