By Lindsay Wigo
Kesha Sebert, previously known as Ke$ha but currently known as just Kesha, has come a long way since her first breakthrough song “TiK ToK” in 2010. For those who do not know anything about Kesha, she is a 30-year-old American singer, rapper, and songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. However, she has done anything but blend in with the crowd. She has been described as “unsophisticated” on multiple occasions by critics. She was known for wild personas on and off stage, profanity spruced throughout her pop songs and her makeup and hairstyles appearances. This drew in a large audience who anticipated the drop of her first album, “Animal.” Almost 7 years later, the public is seeing a completely different side to Kesha.
A lot has happened in 7 years.
After returning from rehab in 2014, she sued her music producer, Dr. Luke, after making claims that he “drugged her with a pill that made her black out and raped her shortly after her 18th birthday in California” (NY Daily News). Dr. Luke was never charged and Kesha was unable to get out of her recording contract with Dr. Luke.
On July 7, 2017, Kesha released her first single in 4 years entitled “Praying.” It instantly blew up when audiences realized it was nothing like Kesha’s previous songs. It was a slow, soulful, emotionally loaded piece about her allegations against Dr. Luke. However, the single was only the beginning.
Kesha’s full album, “Rainbow,” was released this summer on August 11, and old and new fans fell in love. As someone who used to roll her eyes at the sight of Kesha’s dollar sign in her name and the over-the-top use of profanity, I am surprised that I have been listening to this album on repeat. It is very different than what she has published before.
The first song that caught my attention was “Praying.” Not only is the message behind the lyrics incredibly powerful, but it is the first time I have heard Kesha sing a song that was not smothered with electronic remixing and editing. Instrumentally, the song is very simple and welcoming, starting off with just piano and her vocals. As the song progresses and more instruments are added, the song does not lose power or emotion. Her voice is the strongest I have ever heard. Her lyrics speak about how “I found a strength I’ve never known” and “We both know all the truth I could tell.” One of the biggest giveaways that this song was written about Dr. Luke is the line “When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name.” This song is catchy and compelling and I would recommend everyone listen to it to hear a side of Kesha you have never heard before.
Most of Kesha’s new songs are not slow, they are fast pop songs that you are used to from her. They all have fairly uptempo beats and lots of drums, guitar, and trumpet. Listed third on her album is “Woman” which took me by surprise the first time I listened to it. (We all knew that completely getting rid of Kesha’s explicit vocabulary was out of the question. Her album still has a few explicit songs, just a warning.) But in all seriousness, this song is so fun and entertaining. Throughout the song, you can hear Kesha laughing and having fun, which is something her die-hard fans will love to hear. Similar songs with this carefree, spunky attitude on the album are “Learn To Let Go,” “Finding You” and “Boogie Feet.” If you are going to listen to one song on this album make it be “Learn To Let Go.” The refrain is unforgettable, and the lyrics talk about not letting anyone’s past haunt them. If you are in need of an inspirational pick-me-up, her featured song “Rainbow” is up there as one of my favorites.
I am not Kesha’s number one fan, but I can appreciate an artist coming out of the dark after her long, emotional battle that could have ended her artistic career. Her new album touches on self-confidence, forgiveness and overcoming obstacles. She is still doing the same thing she did over 7 years ago— bringing feel-good music and upbeat lyrics to her audience. Are the vibes of her music different than before? Absolutely. Is she still the same Kesha she was 7 years ago? That is a tricky question with no definite answer. I will leave that part up to you to decide. Make sure to check out and download “Rainbow” on iTunes to see for yourself.