Kesha is back! She is a music superstar in the US, while in other markets, she could not connect to the success of her debut single and worldwide success TiK ToK. On 31st January 2020, Kesha released High Road, her fourth studio album.
Kesha – About The Artist
Kesha was born in Los Angeles in 1987. Her civil name is Kesha Rose Sebert and apart from the music business, in which she became active in 2005, she also did some jobs as an actress. There was musical talent in Kesha’s family, as her mother was already a singer-songwriter. Her first years as professional musician were rather tough. In 2008 she appeared in the music video of Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl, but her real breakthrough was being the female voice on Flo Rida’s Right Round in 2009. In 2010, TiK ToK catapulted her on the top of several charts, including USA, Australia, Austria, Germany, Canada or New Zealand, which also boosted her 2010 debut album Animal. Outside the US, she could never keep up again with that success, though there were some decent chart placements. At least, her 2017 album Rainbow did better as the 2012 Warror.
Kesha – High Road – Track By Track
High Road has 16 tracks. It lasts 52 minutes.
After a very melodic start, the song turns into a rap and dance track, the finish is rather melodic again. The track confuses me.
2. My Own Dance
“So, the internet called and it wants you back
But could you kinda rap and not be so sad?” Fuck it
What’s a girl to do? What’s a girl to do?
Everybody, get out your nasty moves
So let’s talk some shit and pour some booze, fuck it
Another song which is a mix of hard rap elements and short passages. Like the first track, I am not getting into her music, the changes feel too random to me.
3. Raising Hell feat. Big Freedia
Raising Hell is a track, which Kesha already released before the album – and it is the first track, which I somehow enjoy to listen to. The ratings to this song are much higher than I would do, but it feels to me like one song and a straight storyline.
4. High Road
The fourth track is the title track to the album. The plot reminds me of TiK ToK, though the quality of the song is by far not as good as Kesha’s classic. Still a good track with a strange ending.
I like melodic tracks – so in general, I favor Shadow as well. I feel that Kesha could produce better, but it is definitely a nice track and gives some new sounds to High Road.
Honey is dominated by rap and recitatives, paired with background singers. It is not an overwhelming track to me, but not too bad.
7. Cowboy Blues
In Cowboy Blues, Kesha’s vocals are that dominantly mixed that few parts feel a bit like a capella. If there would not be the strong choral elements in the background, this one could even be a track on a country music album.
8. Resentment feat. Sturgill Simpson & Brian Wilson
I was very curious about this track, as Sturgill Simpson is a Grammy Winner for the Country Music Album of the Year in 2017 (here is a review of his current album Sound & Fury)- and while Cowboy Blues just had some country music elements, this one is definitely a slow country music. Suprising, but good!
9. Little Bit Of Love
Little Bit Of Love is another nice and melodic track, which shows how versatile Kesha’s musical style can be.
10. Birthday Suit
Birthday Suit has melodic and rap elements. Not just due to background sounds which feel like sampled from a 1980s video game, this track just makes me smile and just make me enjoy listen to it.
11. Kinky feat. Ke$ha
After a fictive phone call introducing the song, you get typical Kesha sound – and I feel one of the best tracks of the album. The track is definitely above average, but also not a smasher as well.
12. Potato Song (Cuz I Want To)
Brass sounds dominate the background music of this track. Not really Bavarian beer house style, at least. I feel that the lyrics in this track feel to squeezed, too dirty. A Kesha cacophony.
13. BFF feat. Wrabel
A collaboration with Wrabel guarantees some melodic tracks – and I feel that this one is definitely one of my favorites on High Roads. It is very melodic on the one hand but still feels to be a Kesha song.
14. Father Daughter Dance
The Father Daughter Dance is one of the tracks, where I feel that Kesha goes beyond the limits she should travel to. Too experimental, which also means that her vocals just sound like “There are a lot of people who can do this better”.
15. Chasing Thunder
Listening to Chasing Thunder at the end of the album makes me kind of sad. Beginning with acoustic guitar sounds and her vocals, the song becomes quite powerful towards its end. Kesha is able to combine so many music ingredients to a her own fusion – bad luck that it did not work out in some of the tracks I had to listen before.
Kesha – High Road – Spotify
Here is the link to pre-listen to the album on Spotify:
Kesha – High Road – My View
High Road and me is like an on-off relation. Some of things are really good – and just when you feel it could be a bright future (for 52 minutes playing time at least), there is some deeper disappointment. The highs are not as high as they could be, but some of the drops are too deep – which means High Road cannot be more as in the average range of rating.
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