All over the pop spectrum
Kesha Rose Sebert, or as she’s famously known, Kesha, is an incredibly well-known and multi-talented artist. With songwriting, singing, rapping and acting under her belt, she’s built quite a career for herself since 2005. Kesha, formerly stylized as Ke$ha, was originally signed to Kemosabe records and started off her career by co-writing and singing backing vocals for many artists including Britney Spears and The Veronicas. Eventually, she branched out on her own and became a radio pop star.
Starting in 2014, Kesha had a difficult time after checking into rehab and then legally confronting her label and producer about the alleged abuse she claims she’d been suffering for over 10 years at their hands. Although Kesha lost the lawsuit, she continued making music on her own and found support from others in the industry. Now, Kesha’s released her fourth studio, High Road, and shows us just how powerful she is.
The album opens on track “Tonight” which begins with a soft piano ballad verse that’s pretty rare for Kesha, but then the song evolves into a more classic Kesha style with a funky beat and a witty rap flow. The second single off the project is a fun and bright tune titled “Raising Hell (feat. Big Freedia)” with an infectious chorus reminiscent of Kesha’s early sound, while the verses showcase how great her vocals are without the autotune she previously used quite often. Her opening lyrics even reference her difficult years with “Hallelujah/ I’m still here, still bringin’ it to ya.”
“Birthday Suit” is a mix of strange and suggestive with video game noises playing in the melody and lyrics like “I kinda wanna play/ you got a Gameboy boy?/ wanna race me?” and “I know we’re both thinkin’/ I wanna get you in your birthday suit.” Another unique song on the album is “High Road” that has a perfect pop beat but with the twist of some cheerleading chant-verses.
However, the song that stands apart the most is “Resentment (feat. Brian Wilson, Strugill Simpson & Wrabel)” with its sweet country acoustic sound and soft, vulnerable lyrics; we see a much gentler side of Kesha. “Shadow” is similar with an acoustic melody and minimal autotune usage, but the very risque lyrics leave no doubt in our minds it’s Kesha behind the tender music.
High Road still has the signature sounds we expect from Kesha from bouncy upbeat choruses to crude statements and intense autotune, however, she also shows us her versatility on the softer side of the pop spectrum. The album sounds so classically Kesha, borderline kitschy but definitely fun and a great overall presentation of pop music.