Recordings | October 2017

By Julio C. Reyna, October 2017 Issue.

Artist: Kesha

Album: Rainbow

Label: RCA/Kemosabe


“I think it’s time to practice what I preach/exorcise the demons inside me,” Kesha sings on “Learn to Let Go,” a track off of her comeback album, Rainbow. It is difficult to write about this album without touching on how she has gotten to this point. After spending years in a legal embroilment with Dr. Luke, she was finally able to release music for the first time since 2012. While the album alludes to the situation, it is more a celebration of who she is. She is moving forward, singing louder, and getting weird.

While there are songs about redemption and rising above the fray, Rainbow really excels in instances where Kesha lets loose and experiments with her sound. Standout moments come from her collaborations with Eagles of Death Metal on both “Boogie Feet” and on the infectious “Let ‘Em Talk” - the anthemic chorus of which will make you want to turn the song all the way up, sing at the top of your lungs and maybe give the world a middle finger or two.

The album slightly loses its way when it comes to genre cohesion, as she goes from pop ballads, to country-tinged songs and her more fun rock persona. There is almost a feeling that perhaps this genre shifting may be intentional because she is no longer tied to the constraints of her previous producers and is having her “I am Kesha, hear me roar moment.”

It has been a contentious five years for Kesha, but she has managed to persevere. Simply put, she is making music on her terms. And while the result can, at times, be a bit all over the place, she is making the best music of her career. This is not exactly a rebrand or her trying on a new person. Listeners will really get the sense she is finally showing the world the free spirit she truly is.

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