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Since 2010, Ke$ha was known as the party girl icon who was responsible for infectiously catchy pops hits such as "Tik Tok," "Blow," and "Your Love is My Drug." But, in 2014 she faced legal problems because she sued her music producer, Dr. Luke, for sexual and mental harassment, and this lead to her being unable to release music under Def Jam Records. Dr. Luke was recently dropped from Def Jam Records, but he still denies her accusations to this day.
But now she's back, and has rebranded herself as Kesha without the dollar sign. Her new album Rainbow shows depths that many wouldn't expect from her. During her rise to fame, many people looked down on her for her party girl attitude and the electronic, auto-tuned style of her music. This lead to people criticizing her for not being able to sing. I personally enjoyed her old music and style for what it was, a good time, but her new album may show people that she has a lot more to give than she was given credit for.
The recent release of Rainbow has people buzzing about Kesha's new sound. The album is a departure from the party dance hits she was known for. Kesha’s new song gives off both pop and country vibes. She’s said before that Dolly Parton partially inspired Rainbow, and Parton even makes an appearance on the album in "Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You)." Other inspirations include The Beach Boys and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. It's a pretty interesting mix.
Kesha shows a more vulnerable side through her new songs. For example, The song, Praying, has a large amount of emotional power in the lyrics. The song gives off a sense of strength and courage that may have stemmed from the emotional legal battle that prohibited her from releasing music. Praying also emphasizes Kesha's singing abilities, as she hits beautiful high notes and belts out her words with a great passion. The lyrics are beautiful. It's poetry for the people who wish to leave people in the past, with the message being that you can forgive yourself and people who hurt you while still holding them accountable for their actions. Kesha told the Huffington Post that, “As much as our past creates who we are, we can't let it define us or hold us back.” One of my favorite lines is, “I’m proud of who I am. No more monsters I can breathe again.” This song was released as a single before the whole album dropped, and since I heard it I knew that Kesha was going to give us something new and exciting.
While Kesha's new songs don't use the same electronic beats that made for great dance hits, she still included the carefree, and wild attitude to Rainbow. "Boogie Feet," featuring Eagles of Death Metal, has an incredibly catchy and danceable beat. The song, "Woman," featuring the Dap-Kings Horns, exudes confidence and fierceness with reckless abandon. "Learn To Let Go," is an anthem of self forgiveness with an addictive tune. "Hunt You Down" has country influences that may turn off the average fan of pop music. But, it is extremely catchy, and I've had it stuck in my head for hours.
The song that gave the album its title also holds great significance. Kesha has said before that she equates color with happiness. Rainbows represent a symbol of happiness as the song is about learning how to be happy again. She urges the listener to, “put those colors on”, and put the past behind them. Kesha's spent the last few years going through difficult hardships. To see her reemerge to the public with an album about loving yourself and being happy is inspirational. It's a story of triumph for her and for anyone who hears her story and connects with it. There's a lot of beauty in the album. It's a story of redemption really, and I think this is an important story to tell. I would recommend Rainbow to anyone, even people who are skeptical of Kesha's new direction, whether they be old fans of her or if they disliked Kesha's original direction in 2010. I think many people would be surprised. I'm truly glad that Kesha has made a return to music.