By: Gitzel Carvajal
Editor’s note: This article contains explicit language and profanity. The writer quotes Kesha’s lyrics, some of which contain expletives.
Kesha released her fourth album on Jan. 31, three years after releasing her last album “Rainbow.” Her wild sense of humor and charisma seemed to have been involved throughout the album, as it adopts a more uplifting and bright mood due to the embedment of new beats that are not present in “Rainbow,” which addressed a more serious part of her life. “High Road” displays it all, from Kesha’s current party life to her relationship with lovers and potential haters. Overall, the album focuses on Kesha’s journey reclaiming her love of life back and freeing herself from anything that may be holding her back. When referring to her album in a Rolling Stone article, Kesha said, “I feel like this time around I reconnected to the unrestrained joy and wildness that’s always been a part of me.”
The song “High Road” begins with a smooth chorus that transitions into an aggressive chant. It is similar to her 2010 album “Animal” as it presents a very unapologetic version of the artist. Kesha sings, “I am taking the high road, high as fuck/ I don’t know where I’ll end up but I ain’t losing no sleep,” in which she later transitions to the chant, “B-I-T-C-H, I’m that bitch you love to hate/ S-T-R-aight talk that shit straight to my bank.” The song presents a more free-spirited and fun Kesha — she is not restricting herself from singing to her haters throughout the song. It can be compared to her song, “Blah Blah Blah,” from her “Animal” album, which also presents the same care-free attitude. The choice of singing in chant verse also presents the artist as the spontaneous pop star that she is as the chant comes out of nowhere, very unexpectedly, making this song the best one on the album.
Moreover, the album is the pop star’s first time presenting her development of new music and sounds since she last worked with producer Lukasz Gottwald. An article by Variety, written by journalist A.D Amorosi, mentioned that under the management of Gottwald the singer was not allowed to present a new style of music. Her newfound freedom can be seen in her singles, “Honey” and “Potato Song,” where she interestingly plays around with gospel melodies and typical rock and roll screams that allow her to clash different beats simultaneously. This stylized choice surprisingly works very well together. The pop-star continues to sing about not caring about her haters’ opinions and about living a more care-free lifestyle. For instance, in a very humorous tone during “Potato Song,” she states, “I’ll eat some cake, well because I want to! Cuz I want to!” Here, she presents her charisma and introduces a more goofy side to her.
Even though the album has multiple features, the identification of Kesha’s humor is one that cannot be missed. In “Kinky,” she sings about a potential lover and all the sexual activities they may possibly do together. However, she does this by featuring herself as Kesha with a dollar sign (Ke$ha), which adds a more unique and humorous feature to the album as no one has ever done so before. This can also be a reference to her “Ke$ha” days, referring to her old beats as if they were created by a completely different artist. Here, she played with her ability to have complete freedom over her album, as who would know more about kinks and party animal lifestyles than Ke$ha herself?
Her collaboration with Wrabel, “BFF,” is nowhere near “Kinky,” as it had a more sweet and innocent acoustic rhythm to it. The two sing to one another in a loving and innocent child-like form, depicting a softer side of Kesha for the first time on this album. It is more than clear that Kesha intentionally created each song so that each could have their own story without resembling one another. As they are all extremely unique from one another, it also depicts that she was finally allowed to branch out and compose and execute all beats, sounds, and rhythms that she has always wanted to experiment with, but never had the chance to do so.
Kesha’s new album shows her audience that she has found joy and has reconnected with the singer’s lost love for life. Through her album “High Road,” she presents original and unique beats and features, with collaborations and sounds that depict Kesha as a true artist. The pop star was not afraid to lay out the wilder aspects of herself as she is aware that doing so would result in her happiness, which she found while on her journey on the high road. Attempting to predict what her next project may be is almost impossible. However, after this album, it is safe to say that Kesha will not be holding back — she will create anything that gives her a purpose to love life.