for about a In the decade since, Kesha's career and life have been in a state of purgatory as she has been caught up in a legal battle that has at times left her with an uncertain future. In two albums released amid endless court hearings, they put up a forceful front, searching for hope in the face of uncertainty.
gag order – says “Screw That” – a great name for her latest album. On her fifth LP, Kesha is tired, angry, and vicious. There's a lot she still can't say, but she opens up to her feelings as best she can, in 13 scorched earth tracks that pull an artist herself back from the brink of insanity.
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The most striking element of Kesha's latest is the sound; Working with producer Rick Rubin, she has found a psychedelic middle ground between the cheesy synths of her 2012 success, Warrior, and his last two, 2017's The Originals and Southern Rock rainbow and 2020 high Road, The songs oscillate between introspective, ambient folk tunes and bold, grunge-y electro-clash.
lyrically, gag order Being open about being irreparably changed by trauma is a study in itself. Kesha still gives hope, but more often, she turns to her old producer Dr. Luke, whom she accused of sexual and emotional abuse, giving herself permission to be honest about the damage her mental health, career, and relationships had been done by years of battling. to which label he is still technically signed.
“Something to Believe In” opens the LP like a solemn prayer: “I sit and watch the pieces fall / I don't know who I am,” she offers before admitting, “You never notice That you need something to believe in.” The spare “Living in My Head” is a gorgeous tapestry of anxiety and self-loathing, with the singer trying to free herself from the chaos in her mind. After that, she slips down a rabbit hole: “This is where you fuckers pushed me / Don't be surprised if shit gets ugly,” she sings on “Fine Line”. As it goes, she walks a fine line between “genius and crazy.” On “Only love Can Save Us”, she juggles the tension between justice and meanness: “I'm ‘suicide' cause my mom tweets / Don't fucking tell me I'm dealing with reason.” I have been.”
There's a surprising amount of softness from Kesha here, as songs like “Too Far Gone” deliver beats like a funeral for the girl she used to be. “All I Need Is You” reaches out to someone – or everyone – to lift her up. Carrying the album is the same goofy humor that always made Kesha a pop star by chopping off an animal-print-patterned dress of her own. On “The Drama”, she reflects, “In the next life I want to come back as a house cat,” for the last minute and a half.
She may never find the rainbow she once sang about, but that doesn't mean she's not fundamentally advocating for her own happy ending. The album also ends with “Happy”, a tired but sweet ballad dedicated to living life not the way you hope. As she sings on that song, she has to laugh so that she doesn't die. This is also a victory of its own kind.
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