Review: Kesha's true colors soar with new album

When Ke$ha appeared on the scene in 2009 as the “Tik Tok” girl, everything from the dollar sign in her name to the glitter and ripped clothes screamed party-girl-gone-pop-star.

Although her fame rose quickly, taking her first album “Animal” to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, she didn’t appear to be a woman of strong integrity or morals to most people on the outside looking in.

Her upbeat crazy songs stuck in my head making me fall in love with every beat, different from the regular My Chemical Romance or Escape the Fate tunes I was used to in seventh grade. Many didn’t see the point of her career and assumed she was talentless, but I saw Kesha for who she was: an Iggy Pop- and Dolly Parton-loving, considerate, smart woman who received a nearly perfect score on her SATs.

Since 2013, Kesha has been in a series of lawsuits with producer Dr. Luke over sexual and mental abuse, which kept her from releasing music. Nearly five years after her last studio album “Warrior,” Kesha has gone in and out of rehab, dropped the dollar sign, made a name for herself yet again and released “Rainbow” on August 11.

Her first music video for “Praying”  was released on July 6th and earned 1 million views before the the day had ended.. People applauded Kesha, giving her the artist respect she should’ve been receiving in the first place. The message of Kesha’s songs hasn’t changed, but the sound has grown with her. She’s always sung with power, like in “Learn To Let Go,” where she says that to “exorcise the demons inside me… learn to let it go.” A similar lyric shows up in “Love In The Light.” Here she says, “It’s about the time to let all of the love back into the light… to let go and forget about the hate.”

“Rainbow”is more of an album made by Kesha for Kesha and her fans than an album made by Kesha featuring the shackles of Dr. Luke. Kesha has always been brave, and although this album showcases her bravery in a brighter way, this has always been her number one trait. This time, people are sticking around long enough to notice.

Don’t be surprised with Kesha’s evolved sound. With inspiration from artists like Johnny Cash and the Beastie Boys and songs featuring Dolly Parton, Eagles of Death Metal and The Dap-Kings Horns, this album’s the sound Kesha has always had in her.

Her big hits “Woman,” along with first single “Praying” were performed on “Good Morning America” this past summer. The emotional performance made me prepare for the concert I will attend as part of her upcoming Rainbow Tour.

Personal favorite songs off the album are “Woman,” “Hymn,” “Learn To Let Go” and “Boogie Feet.” Lyrics that send chills down my spine are the surly “I used to live in the darkness/Dress in black/Act so heartless...Got back the stars in my eyes, too/Yeah, now I see the magic inside of me,” from “Rainbow.”

Kesha powerfully speaks of her independence in “Woman” by saying, “I buy my own things/I pay my own bills/These diamond rings/My automobiles/Everything I got, I bought it/Boys can't buy my love/Buy my love, yeah.”

She speaks from personal experience and says, “I know I'm always like/Telling everybody you don't have to be a victim/Life ain't always fair/But hell is living in resentment/Choose redemption/Your happy ending's up to you,” in “Learn To Let It Go.”

My only hope for Kesha is for her to no longer have restraints holding her back from using her true voice. It’s always been there and I hope she continues to use it without permission. The Rainbow Tour is something I look forward to attending for the full Rainbow experience.

Rainbow marks Kesha’s second album scoring a spot as No. 1 on Billboard's 200 and is available on Spotify and her website, keshaofficial.com.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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