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Kesha - High Road (Album Review)

Wednesday, 05 February 2020 Written by Milly McMahon

Photo: Dana Trippe

An insightful writer with profound intentions and emotional depth, Kesha accomplished a remarkable turnaround in her sound on ‘Rainbow’. Having become a powerful voice in the #TimesUp movement following a protracted period of legal wrangling with former producer Dr. Luke, whom she accused of sexual assault, her music flipped from party anthems to a stripped back, largely acoustic aesthetic.

Communicating the trauma of her experiences with affecting brilliance, ‘Rainbow’ was hard-hitting. But on her new LP ‘High Road’, Kesha is reborn again. She explores her newfound self, and a sense of confidence and wild abandon dances throughout a high-octane album.

Supported by a fan base who adore her honesty and energy, Kesha’s commitment to connecting with her audience is exceptional. She does not censor herself, and speaks here on desperation, loneliness, friendship and independence with great compassion. 

Amid the upbeat pop framework, the standout BFF feat. Wrabel is an intimate diary-like entry. Recalling tough times offset by the love of a close friend, Kesha welcomes us to feel affection and kindness. The reassurance recreated for the listener to share is like a warm hug. This is a real moment for the duo. 

Father Daughter Dance is another poignant aside as Kesha's voice swirls with tormented thoughts. “Oh, I wish my heart wasn't broken from the start,” she sings. “I never stood a fighting' chance. In all my days, from my cradle to my grave, I'll never have a father-daughter dance.”  Her sentiments are vulnerable and heartbreaking.

Here Kesha's performances are rich and varied, and she channels her pain with focus and force. She appears ready to live her freedom and truth, after a chapter of darkness and anger. The real heart of ‘High Road’ is found in the joy that has returned to Kesha’s voice. It is a beautiful symbol for survivors everywhere.

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