A Modern Woman's Music Review ft. Kesha's "Rainbow"

The classic 2010s teen experience is jamming out to “TiK ToK” with absolute glee, feeling like P Diddy and rolling in the glitter-soaked sound brought to the table by Kesha Rose Sebert. Kesha Sebert, better known as Ke$ha in her club-pop days, solidified her musical presence by 2012 with constant chart topping, bass booming albums. And then silence. As legal allegations arose of alleged sexual and emotional abuse by Kesha’s former producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, Kesha was effectively legally barred from music production. The hopes for future music coming from Kesha were dismal. Until August. 

With the release of the single, “Praying” earlier this July, Kesha shows her personal growth with raspy vocals over therapeutic lines of “I can breathe again” and “in life, you’re gonna get what you give”. The gospel choir ridden anthem builds to a reaction video worthy crescendo, sending a message of support and healing to survivors. Yet this extraordinary single was just the tip of the iceberg. 

As we proceed through the rest of the album released in August, we are presented with not only an artistic renaissance of Kesha’s brand but also a perspective into modern feminism. We enter upon “Bastards”, a soothing ballad ripe with quotes that could fill your dorm walls and your Pinterest boards. Kesha knocks down the pettiness that festers in the modern day, and continues to do so in “Let ‘Em Talk” where she embraces herself, quirks and all ready to take on the world. Between these two pieces, Kesha takes on conflict with self-actualization in mind. She speaks for the modern woman who is resilient enough to take on the online trolls and persist towards her ceiling-shattering goals. 

The album regains its OG Ke$ha playfulness in the female power anthem of the century, “Woman”. With the independence of paying her bills, working for herself, and no need for a man, Kesha gives a big middle finger emoji to dependent female stereotypes across the board. Kesha’s experience as a white woman puts her at an interesting position saying “don’t touch my weave”, but with the rest of her lyrics she embraces the badass persona of a “motherfucking woman” here to have fun. Filled with the blaring sound from The Dap-Kings Horns and a booming hook, “Woman” is truly an anthem as powerful as “Single Ladies” and “Wannabe” before it. 

Kesha also returns to her country roots in “Hunt You Down” where she puts a spin on the “jealous husband” country trope, warning her lover that she’s never killed no one but if she finds him cheating, she’ll “hunt [him] down”. This flip is an obvious tongue-in-cheek at the common trope, which shows the subtle, yet violent behavior taken on women within music. And in “Old Flames”, Kesha gives a nod to her mother, Pebe Sebert, and her greatest hit with Dolly Parton’s backup vocals fostering a nostalgic ballad for lost love. 

Yet nothing is truly lost in Rainbow. From her giggly fable-like tales of going to the mall with Godzilla to finding an anthem for all those without, we get a lens into the Kesha beyond the glitter. We see a Kesha who strives to find her true voice in music. We hear giggling at the bookends of tracks. We feel the powerhouse of potential that rests in Kesha’s future. And soon, the hope that radiates throughout Rainbow will find its way into the Salt Lake City on October 25th providing our valley with a colorful take on the modern woman.