Three years earlier than Gag Order, Kesha launched 2020’s Excessive Street, a cheery-sounding LP that tried to return to her early party-pop days, regardless of the clear-eyed braveness of its predecessor, 2017’s soulful Rainbow. After the “TiK ToK,” Jack Daniel’s-swilling early days of Kesha’s profession got here very public litigation together with her former producer and label head Dr. Luke, whom she accused of sexual assault. It’s not one thing she will legally handle on document, however the title of her fifth studio album is a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to her ongoing battle.
Produced by Rick Rubin, the album is her most progressive up to now. There’s the minor-key, Auto-Tuned ode to hallucinogenic transcendence “Eat the Acid” and the indie-folk neuroticism of “Residing in My Head.” The minimal synth turned explosive experimentalism of “The Drama” was co-written with Kurt Vile and consists of an impressed interpolation of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.” If early followers celebrated Kesha for her bravado, now they’ll discover her fearlessness expressed in each new sonic textures and a brand new emotional vocal efficiency: laid naked, uncooked, plain.
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