Shortly after The Torch production night ended, I found myself sitting at my desk in the office screaming, singing and straight-up vibing. My favorite artist and longtime idol Kesha released her much-anticipated album “High Road” on Jan. 31.
Originally, “High Road” was going to be the album to start the decade, with a release date in the first week of 2020. While I’m still unsure as to the real reasoning behind the wait, I will say it was well worth it. The week of her release, Kesha even added a bonus song to the digital tracklist, “Summer.”
I was completely blown away with the first single “Raising Hell” that I really didn’t know what to expect for the rest of the album. Like I said, I’ve been a longtime fan and so I know pretty well that Kesha has had her fair share of moments, good and bad, in the 2010s. The original “Tik Tok” star set the pop bar high with this album as she goes back to a lot of “Cannibal” roots of party, fun girl anthems.
While some of her new songs are an ode to her old songs, there is still so much new Kesha mixed in with “High Road.” “Rainbow,” her comeback album, was her chance to showcase her vocals and variety while also answering a lot of questions about the abuse she had endured from the music industry. With “High Road,” Kesha’s sings of being herself while also sending the message that she still doesn’t care what you think of her.
One of my favorite lines is something I wish I could get tattooed across my face. “Y’all think I’m crazy, think I’m dumb / Could a b---h this dumb write a number one? Woo! / More than one, woo! / More than two, yah! / More than you, woo!”
A lot of people associate Kesha with drugs, sex and more drugs. I’ve seen this girl break down in concert, crying over not legally being allowed to sing her own songs. I watched a stripped-down version of “Blow,” one of the most iconic Ke$ha party songs, but she put such a Dolly Parton twist on it; it was beautiful.
All the pop bops are at the beginning of the album for me. If I don’t hear “Tonight,” “My Own Dance” or “High Road” at any bar in the near future, I truly have lost faith in what the people believe is good party music.
“Kinky” featuring Ke$ha was the song I was most anticipating because of the throwback to her past self. The song starts with an interlude, that could have been its own piece, of Kesha calling her mom explaining that The Spice Girls were recording next to her. The song is a fun tribute to Kesha’s past self, reminding us that she is still just as crazy as she once was.
Based on the singles, the other songs weren’t what I was expecting. There is a decent amount of early 2010’s pop vibes in the latter half of the album. I don’t hate it because it really showcases Kesha’s vocals. Even with some slower and more heartfelt songs, don’t worry, every single song on the album has a wonderful explicit warning.
This album is honest. This album is her. And this album is ours. She’s answering the questions some people had about her post abuse and how she’s surviving while also celebrating certain chapters of her life, and closing others. This album is the epitome of 2012, just as she says “Woke up this morning feeling myself / Hungover as hell like 2012” in “My Own Dance.”
The girl has every right to be hungover, she’s been through it, but guess what, she survived.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.