Kesha: High Road album Review

13 Dec

Tonight:  Lots of auto-tune, syncopation, and distortion.  Group singing.

My Own Dance:  Female empowerment song, it’s ok for females to have sex.  The song has a lot of production with “hey yeah” in the background throughout.  I’m glad she addresses the “shut up and sing” stuff.  Every artist has a platform and absolutely should engage (intelligently if possible) politically or with social causes.

Raising Hell:  Catchy as hell!  Voice notes.  “Get it.”  Some gospel background flair.  Some danciness.  Kesha is SINGING!  Prayer-sound into a rap interlude. A lot is going on in the song, and despite the busy-ness, I love it.

High Road:  The verse sounds like a Karmin rap, which is a good thing.  The chorus is striking, and I like the sentiment of the lyrics.  Break down:  “Now put your hands up, now put your hands down”  in a distorted voice to close it out.

Shadow:  It’s funny she says “spaceships” because this is a companion to the closer off the last album.  I really like the lyrics, it is a perfect follow up for all the struggles Kesha indicates in the Rainbow album.  My favorite line, maybe ever is, “If you’re here to throw shade then you’re in the wrong place, yeah you’re blocking my sun.”  She addresses the haters, from a place of maturity– while still giving the cheekiness I love Kesha for displaying.  Also, she sings her ass off in this song, hitting a very high note.

Honey:  The sample is used masterfully.  The listener can tell what it is, then it is blended into this track in a unique way.  I like a bitter song, and there are many great one-liners sprinkled throughout.  Love, love, love.  The background sassy singers and “bye byes” and shouting lend to a slumber party feel where your besties have your back.  I mean, if we have to mean girl somebody, instead of blaming the piece of shit man who did the cheating–this is the way to do it.  

Cowboy Blues:  This might be the exact same tune as she had in a prior album.  In a song about aliens?  I’m preeety sure it is just the same.  And I don’t care for the talking in this one.  The harmony in the last third of the song, and the echo are a really nice touch.  A song about missed connections.

Resentment:  I absolutely love the mature sound Kesha has evolved toward.  This duet is a lovely country song.  And she seamlessly transitions into the genre with a catchy chorus.  The male voices are prominent, but don’t over-power her.  

Little Bit of Love:  This song has some talky parts, and tells a story–which Kesha is good at doing.  It’s another remarkable song.  Vocal chops are shown.  The “litta bit a little bit a” reminds me of Mika–in a good way.

Birthday Suit:  Starting with a retro video game sound.  The talking verse is about how great she is.  The chorus is catchy.  The next part has video game in the background to show, not tell,  the chase is a game.

Kinky:  Funny phone call intro.  Having listened to many of those in the 90s, I know they’re funny the first two times you hear them, then it gets annoying and they’re a skip.  It’s too bad she didn’t make that it’s own track for that reason.  The song has some serious 1980s beat.  I think it’s a good thing Kesha embraces her sexuality and does not subscribe to the shame put onto women.

Potato Song (Cuz I Want To):  It’s a silly song with that tuba tune.  And she talks about how she’s stressed out and she’ll take a break.  She sings about how adulthood is all boring responsibility, and she is wanting to reject that.  Kesha sings, “I’m throwin’ all my big girl panties–in the garbage can!”  The ending is rounds, which always sound cool.  And like an end of party tuba theme.

BFF:  Another good duet about best friends.  You don’t hear enough songs about friends (that don’t turn into sex or love) so this is a refreshing topic.  The voices blend together just as well as the friendship they talk about.  It’s nice to hear about an emotionally healthy, supportive relationship.

Father Daughter Dance:  A reflective piece, with mellow production as compared to the rest of the album.  She is introspective about what has made her who she is today.  She belts it out at the end, and it sounds good.

Chasing Thunder:  Another country-vibe song, but with gospel backing.  The hand claps belong here (you know I can be critical of extraneous clapping).  It’s a blend of genres done seamlessly.  It all just “works” and I enjoy seeing Kesha experiment, while also keeping the things I always liked.

Summer:  A nice closer to the album, ending on a note of hope.  At the end, musically it shows the climax and hopefulness.  It’s a triumphant sound.  

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