Kesha releases ‘High Road,’ first album in over 2 years

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at 9:27 PM
Kesha releases ‘High Road,’ first album in over 2 years by Samantha Mannion
"High Road," released Jan. 31 on RCA Records

Pop artist Kesha released her newest album, “High Road,” on Jan. 31. It’s her first full length record in over two years and is packed full of strong melodies and fun instrumentation. 

Tonight 

This song sounds like the track a female-centered movie would use in a club-hopping montage scene, and I’m here for it. Groups of friends could definitely use this as a pregame jam. It’s upbeat and just makes you want to party super hard. It’s very similar to her previous song “Timber” in vibe and overall style. 

My Own Dance 

This song is satirizing the party girl, with Kesha saying she’s just going to do her own dance (as the title suggests, it does make you want to dance). This is particularly prevalent in the chorus, which features big production and tons of bass accompanied by drums. The verses have a catchy melody and strong guitar, which leads into the anthemic chorus quite well. 

Raising Hell 

Talk about a song that starts out softer and then comes out swinging. It has a really catchy hook that can and will get stuck in your head. The backtrack is also very strong. It features a drumline sound mixed with horns and synths that are so easy to move to. 

High Road 

Kesha again proves her hook writing prowess with this track. The melody for the verses has a cheer-like sound that is just a fun quirky mode that’s really enjoyable. The chorus features her singing in a way that I don’t think I had heard from her in recent memory. Her voice is powerful and impressive. 

Shadow 

Her voice once again impresses in this song. It’s one of the few ballads she has on this album and it’s a welcome change from her more beat-driven music prior to this. However, her lyric writing could’ve been stronger on this track. It’s a slower song than usual and doesn’t have a fun back beat to focus on, so the lyrics felt somewhat subpar.

Honey 

If your friend just slept with your significant other, I have good news: Kesha has written a song for your exact situation. Fortunately, it’s just as petulant and over the drama as you probably feel. Lyrically, it’s kind of petulant. It still has a fun groove and goes for the vibe of friends having fun, but this one is not my favorite. 

Cowboy Blues

An acoustic track from Kesha that’s a more complete expression than most of her other tracks. 

This track is also more introspective than usual for her; it’s about feeling like you missed your chance at love. It has a catchy, hummable tune and is easy to relate to. 

Resentment 

“Resentment” continues with that emotional introspective mode. It’s about the end of a bad relationship and has the strongest lyrics of any song on the album. It is incredibly honest and deep. 

Little Bit of Love 

My favorite chorus on the album is in this song. It’s big and weirdly makes you want to headbang and jump around. It’s super drum-driven and bouncy, whereas the verses are more piano-driven, which provides a nice contrast. It’s about having a fun night at the end of a relationship when you know it’s going to end and you just want to enjoy yourself.

Birthday Suit 

“Birthday Suit” has three different vibes to it that somehow all work together. On one hand, it’s drum driven and super swanky; on another, it samples the Super Mario theme music; and on another, it’s guitar driven and rhythmic. It’s all around fun and also super sexy in subject matter.

Kinky 

If a song starts with the most bizarre recording of a phone call ever, it will no doubt be interesting. It has a great groove and a catchy hook to accompany its risqué subject matter. The best way to describe it: a song with dirty context would’ve gone over your head at age 12. 

The Potato Song (Cuz I Want To) 

Dear lord, this song is weird. A punk rock anthem, it somehow sounds German and French to me, so right off the bat I’m trying to figure out what's happening. Despite the mild confusion, I’m still listening to it — and that is when the kazoos come in… 

BFF

After the strange potato song, Kesha goes into a sweet track about friendship. It features a nice melody with simple production and not a lot of the club style, big bass/drum lines. It just tells a bunch of cute stories about her best friend. 

Father-Daughter Dance 

This song let me in on a detail about the artist I didn’t know before I heard it — her father’s absence. It’s a sad song that does hit you in a very real place. The string section in the background only enhances the feeling. She also slays the vocals on this song. 

Chasing Thunder 

The last song on the album, just like the first, has a movie montage feel to it. It has a summer road trip travel scene feel to it. If you plan on going on a road trip in real life, I highly suggest putting it on your playlist. The folky guitar driven rhythm will make for a great soundtrack. 

This album is a super fun listen. It has several different sounds on it, while still being cohesive and seemingly very true to Kesha.

8/10

Note: This was her second album since she accused her producer, Dr. Luke, of sexual assault in 2014. The situation was recently the subject of 2020 headlines, as according to Pitchfork, “a judge ruled, as part of a wider decision, that Kesha defamed Dr. Luke with claims she made about him to Lady Gaga.” 

The judge also stated that they can't "based on legal filings alone, determine the truth of the alleged rape, and leaves the door open to resolving this at trial."

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