A lot of hype has been swirling around Kesha’s new work. Her troubles have been very public, bringing her producer to court for multiple instances of sexual and emotional abuse. The court ruled against her claims, but the artist was not going to remain silent. Her first full album in five years, Rainbow is all-at-once a lament, a message of hope, and a battle cry.
If you have liked any of Kesha’s music in the past, you will find it difficult to dislike anything on this album. Heck, I think that everyone would find at least one song that they can’t get out of their head. “Praying” has already taken the radio by storm, but I’m personally drawn to “Woman,” which just feels electric with a solid chorus you will be humming along to, regardless of how you identify yourself. It bumps hard with a jazzy brass section and is great to pump up your enthusiasm with whatever you are doing.
What is really interesting about the album is that there are some heavy and contrasting themes: hope and despair, faith and lack of belief, and self-esteem. Many parts of the album feel like outright poetry.
That said, Rainbow is going in a lot of different directions. There are rock heavy tracks featuring the Eagles of Death Metal, but there are also decidedly country songs (one even featuring legend Dolly Parton). The one, real thread that keeps this album together is Kesha herself. Listening to these songs one after another, it feels like she is telling everyone, “Enough is enough, I’m going to do what I want.” For me, it works. If you aren’t a fan of the diverse tones of the album, you’ll probably be playing only two or three songs on repeat.
4/5 Stars. Welcome back, Kesha. We missed you.