Pop singer Kesha reminds listeners she’s not just the party girl or the tragedy, referencing her ongoing lawsuit against former producer Dr. Luke, but that’s she’s, as she puts it, f***ing everything in her new album, “High Road.”
The opening track, “Tonight,” starts off the album as a fun remembrance that Kesha can still party and have a great time with her friends. “My Own Dance,” her second single, is a clear message that she will not be labeled to society as the victim or someone who loves to be social. She’s saying she’s her own person and she doesn’t have to check one box; she checks them all.
The first single, “Raising Hell,” features rapper Big Freedia with a gospel touch to the beat. In the song, Kesha sings about living your life and raising some hell because it’s fun to be bad sometimes.
The title track has Kesha chanting like a cheerleader in the verses while spelling out words, because who doesn’t love spelling, and showing she laughs at the negativity she receives in her life. The song also has a double entendre implying she’s going to get high and giggle about the criticism.
“Shadow” slows down the album by letting people know not to rain on her parade. Still remaining at a slow pace, “Honey” reminisces ‘90s music while calling out a former friend of hers breaking the No. 1 rule of the girl code: Don’t sleep with someone else’s boyfriend.
“Cowboy Blues” is a humorous ballad about Kesha missing someone she met a bar one time and not making a move to get to know him better. “Resentment” features singers Brian Wilson, Sturgill Simpson and Wrabel. The ballad deals with not just being angry with someone but hating them so much more than that.
Picking up the tempo, “Little Bit of Love” comes off as a cute love song wanting that extra bit of attention Kesha is missing from her partner. “Birthday Suit” sounds like you’re trapped in a video game while listening to her sing about wanting to sleep with someone as soon as possible and explore their body.
“Kinky” is a special track because it features Ke$ha. Yes, Kesha collaborated with her former self. Together they sing about learning to love all aspects of your personality and loving yourself over anything else.
“The Potato Song (Cuz I Want To)” is about wanting to be lazy and not have any cares in the world. The last collaboration on the album, “BFF,” features Wrabel again. They sing about how your best friend will always be there for you and the memories they’ve made over the years of knowing each other.
The stand-out track, “Father Daughter Dance,” shows Kesha’s vulnerability by releasing a floodgate of emotions ranging from shame to anger. Being raised by a single mother, she talks about how she will never have a dance with her dad and learning to cope with it.
Closing the album is “Chasing Thunder,” a song about being free and exploring the world to find yourself.
“High Road” is a great album, but I feel it’s not as great as her previous album, “Rainbow.” Kesha doesn’t show as much vulnerability and rawness she did before, except for a few songs. While I appreciate her changing up her sound once again, I cannot complain about her tenacity to raise her middle finger to anyone who downplays her.