After many years of being embroiled in legal battles, Kesha has finally released a new album. Rainbow, her third full-length project, is rated as her comeback album and what a comeback it is. She's mostly leaving behind the party talk of her past for a mature, in control chapter in her career where she's able to explore what she has been through and where she is going. From defiant hard hitters like "Woman" and honky tonk-like "Hunt You Down" to the folk tinged "Spaceship," Rainbow promises a taste of every flavor.
The album's tone is bluntly set with opener "B*****ds," a song that looks as if it may be a trash talker but in reality, it is one of the highlights of Rainbow. Kesha tunes in to her strength, a theme throughout the record, picking herself up singing, "I'll just keep on living/ Keep on living the way I want to live/ Don't let the b*****ds get you down/ Don't let the a******s wear you out/ Don't let the mean girls take the crown/ Don't let the scumbag screw you 'round."
Forgiveness is also a theme found on the new album heard in the pop rocker "Learn to Let Go" where she is choosing to live up to what she preaches. It follows lead single "Praying," an emotional track of praying for someone who brought her pain while also recognizing what's learned through the situation.
On Rainbow, Kesha brought in several special guests to put polishing touches on a handful of tracks. The Eagles of Death Metal appear on "Boogie Feet" and "Let 'Em Talk," both guitar-led throwbacks ready for touring. It's on the country song "Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle to You)" that Kesha proves she can transcend multiple genres. She recorded the track with Dolly Parton, the artist that made the song famous in 1980. But there's a story to it. Kesha's mother Pebe Sebert wrote the song in the 1970s. Kesha recorded "Old Flames" in 2012 for the Deconstructed EP and reworked the tender track to a powerhouse country cover with one of the genre's greats.
"Old Flames" isn't the only proof that Kesha could forge a career in country. She effortlessly tells a lover that she's all in and if he strays, she'll come after him in the honky tonk "Hunt You Down." The foot stomping swinger takes a far left turn from party anthems of the past such as "Tik Tok" and "Your Love Is My Drug" yet retains the energy worthy of a dancefloor remix.
Rainbow focuses on the acoustic side of Kesha's songwriting which has been present in unreleased demos since she first hit the scene. Channeling Elle King, "Starship" closes the record on a humble belief that she will one day be taken off into space, another dimension, speaking, "As I leave this earth and sail into the infinite cosmic universe/ The wars, the triumphs, the beauty and the bloodshed/ The ocean of human endeavour/ It all grows quiet, insignificant/ I'm nothing more than recycled stardust and borrowed energy/ Worn from the rocks spinning in the aether."
For this record, Dr. Luke who contractually has power to produce six songs on each album owed, sat back and approved songs and will instead pursue the equivalent royalties in court. The songwriter/producer still stands to benefit from Rainbow despite Sony not renewing his contract as CEO of his own Kemosabe. Kesha is still signed to previous agreements through Dr. Luke's Kasz Money Inc. and his publishing company, Prescription Songs. The new liberating album is one of three full-length records towards fulfilling her contract with the hitmaker.