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Review: "Rainbow" by Kesha

by Madeline Tyrrell- 89.1 The Point
Tue, Sep 26th 2017 05:45 pm
Photo taken from Kesha's official Instagram
Photo taken from Kesha's official Instagram

Other than her 2016 collaboration single with Zedd titled “True Colors,” it’s been almost five years since we last heard music from pop’s party girl. Kesha’s latest album comes shortly after winning the legal battle with ex-producer Dr. Luke. Off the bat you can tell that a lot of emotional healing was put into this album. Rainbow is a side of Kesha we have never seen before. 

The first track titled “Bastards” features an acoustic guitar instrumental that builds as the song progresses into a louder, more powerful sound. This is surprising, considering Kesha’s past albums were centered around loud synthetic beats. This song sets the mood for the album’s focus, forgetting those who bring you down. 

From my perspective the album doesn’t feature any “diss tracks” instead the central message is centered around forgiving and letting go, and focusing on yourself instead of those who don’t support you. “Praying” and “Rainbow” both have similar sounds. “Rainbow” features whimsical vocals that show off Kesha’s vocal range and capabilities. The song’s lyrics use a rainbow as a metaphor to explain how Kesha uses color to get herself out of her darkest moments of her life. “Praying” is a powerful ballad that goes out to all of Kesha’s wrongdoers. This song tells a complete story of the artist at her weakest, fighting to find strength and breathe again. Instead of being resentful, Kesha uses this song to hope that her enemies have realized their faults and have changed. 

Through forgiveness, Kesha finds power over her past. It is impossible not to sing along to “Praying,” and it still gives me chills everytime I listen to it. The songs on this album are diverse, while still falling under the pop genre. “Woman” might as well be declared the official anthem of female empowerment. This funk-styled song features the Dap-King Horns. Kesha’s conversations in the beginning of the song make listeners feel as if they are in the studio with her. In this song, she shows off the fact that she is an independant woman who doesn’t need a man. 

Empowerment is a strong theme in the lyrics of many of the songs on Rainbow, whether it’s owning up to being a badass woman or owning up to being an outsider in the song “Hymn.” Kesha switches styles again, as she ventures into a classic country sound in “Hunt You Down.” The style changes are refreshing to hear compared to most pop albums, whose songs can end up sounding the same. Even with the different sounds, the album still flows together to create a narrative of self-growth and self-love. This album feels like a personal invitation into Kesha’s diary and the raw vulnerability displayed is deeply moving and relatable. This album is a beautiful exploration into the newfound freedom owned by Kesha. 

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