Following the success of her album Rainbow, her first release since the long battle against former producer Dr. Luke, Kesha is back with her latest release High Road. An album described as “a full return to Kesha’s pop roots” and born from “unrestrained joy and wildness.” On High Road, she finds the right balance between fun, party pop music roots, and country-inspired gospel takes that formed her previous record.
In the opening track, “Tonight,” Kesha recalls the best night of her life. The song begins with soaring vocals reminiscent of Rainbow before diving into a trap-inspired, gang-vocal club anthem reminiscent of her early music. This track I feel is a good indicator of what is to follow. My Own Dance is a fun, dancy song that features an obvious nod to her mid-2000’s hit “Tik Tok” with the lyric “Woke up this morning, feeling myself/Hungover as hell like 2012.” Kesha sounds as unbothered as ever when she sings about getting high and just being herself; she is raw and free on this track. As the album continues on, Kesha begins to show some more of the raw vulnerability, as seen on Rainbow. This is most clearly seen on the track “Father Daughter Dance.” Kesha, who grew up in a single-parent home and was raised by her mother, really shows her feelings and brokenness in the lyrics “All my days, from my cradle to my grave/I’ll never have a father-daughter dance.” “Father Daughter Dance” is a welcome anchor to the album’s escapism and party-hard ethos.
Kesha has begun to reconnect with her former self on High Road. High Road is unmistakably from the same Kesha that we know and love, who tore up the charts in 2009 with her glitter pop party anthems, but with a new sense of underlying self-awareness. She is really just doing what she wants on this album. While it sometimes can make for an album that doesn’t flow well musically or seem to have a clear direction, I think it works well here. Kesha has reclaimed herself and her music as her own on this album, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.