Soul filled ballads, country influences and classic rock compose Kesha’s new transformative album “Rainbow.” The album highlights the torment and pain of the singer’s long legal battle with former producer Dr. Luke.
Six years ago Kesha entered a brutal lawsuit claiming that Dr. Luke inflicted years of sexual abuse and misconduct on her. When she began her career she signed a contract with his company Kemosabe Music Records. This contract stated that she had to produce a total of seven albums with them before she could drop the label. Ultimately the penal system claimed that there was not enough evidence to press charges on Dr. Luke but that Kemosabe records must drop the original contract and allow the singer to release music without his direct influence.
Kesha’s first two albums painted the picture of a glitter enthused pop star full of potential. In contrast, her new album conveys the true anguish that the singer has endured over the past three years. Her single “Praying” is already top 20 on the Billboard charts. It is a ballad that conveys how she found strength through adversity.
“To this day, I’ve never released a single that’s a true ballad, and I feel like those are the songs that balance out the perception of you, because you can be a fun girl. You can go and have a crazy night out, but you also, as a human being, have vulnerable emotions. You can have love while learning to forgive,” said Kesha.
Her single is a testament to her growth as a human being and artist. It is a culmination of the various musical influences that have inspired her as an artist, including Iggy Pop, T. Rex, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, James Brown and Sweet. It ultimately expresses her liberation as a musician and human being.
One of her new songs, “Hunt You Down,” was influenced by the late Johnny Cash. Many fans are awed by her country inspiration, as it varies greatly from the pop hits she released in the past. Another hit from her album, “Learn to Let Go,” explains her maturity and growth from girl to woman, and how facing her demons allowed her to heal as an individual. “Hymn” is for her young fans who are also going through struggles. The lyrics demonstrate the album’s theme of moving forward. This and her single “Praying” were the first songs that she wrote for the album.
She wanted to outline not only the struggle of her legal lawsuit, but the lessons she has learned. The title “Rainbow” demonstrates the colorful spectrum that composes an individual.
“I wanted the title of this album to convey the idea that no one is one dimensional and defined by their past and what has deeply affected them,” she said.
With her lyrics, Kesha brings positivity and a silver lining to the hurt and pain that has plagued her life. She wants her fans to know that no matter the obstacles or challenges, there is always beauty, love and forgiveness. Her album received four out of five stars by Rolling Stones Magazine, and is the ultimate testament to her independence as an artist. As she states in “Praying,” “the best is yet to come.”
Image from Refinery29.