Party meets positivity on Kesha's fifth LP
Grace Almond
17:05 31st January 2020

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It’s been over two years since the release of Kesha’s most notable album yet, Rainbow, which went in a new direction from her signature brand of electro-pop. Now, Kesha returns once more with a familiar feeling. 

Kesha gives a punchy opener to her album with ‘Tonight’. Drawing inspiration from queer dance anthems, a motif is repeated throughout with another vocalist saying ‘Bitch we going out tonight, bitch we going out’. She blends this with trap themes, morphing into a chart-ready pop chorus.

The sass continues on ‘My Own Dance’, a song about breaking free and doing your own thing. It’s an empowering pop banger, and that fierce attitude continues on ‘Raising Hell’ too - a loud, trademark Kesha song that would be hard not to dance to. Featuring an instantly recognisable voice in Big Freedia as they blare out commands to the dancefloor, Kesha delivers the perfect cut to groove to.

The album is filled with some really beautiful breaks. ‘Shadow’ is yet another empowering track from the singer, this one about happiness and rising above negative thoughts from others. It’s followed swiftly by the stripped back ‘Honey’, when Kesha is vocally at her strongest.

The rest of the record is ridiculously upbeat and fun. ‘Birthday Suit’ starts and ends with what sounds like the Super Mario Bros theme tune. Kesha and Ke$ha go head to head on the sex-positive ‘Kinky’, marking Kesha’s career evolution. Kesha isn’t about to take herself seriously on ‘High Road’, with ‘Potato Song’ expressing facetious lyrics and a smile-inducing cartoonish melody. The record ends with the stunning ‘Father Daughter Dance’ and ‘Chasing Thunder’, two incredibly reflective tracks, with a much calmer atmosphere than the other, bouncing cuts on the album.

Kesha’s earlier tracks were huge party bangers, and she produced something truly inspiring on Rainbow, but on High Road she’s managed to merge all that together – it’s a record full of danceable floor-fillers, and big, positive energy. It’s also an important record: about moving on, and breathing through negativity. Kesha is a truly awe-inspiring artist, and continues to push through to produce something nuanced, interesting and fun.

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Photo: Press