Something I had long suspected, though it wasn’t apparent on the inane electro-pop that dominated her first two albums, is that Kesha Rose Sebert can sing and pretty well. That has certainly been proven true on her latest effort, Rainbow.
After a 4 year hiatus, with the concomitant drama surrounding her relationship with producer Dr. Luke in the intervening years, Kesha has released both her best album and her first album that is filled with works that feel genuine and true to a real person, instead of an overdone persona.
Kesha executive produced the album herself, working with other production luminaries such as Ryan Lewis, Ben Folds, and even her mother, master Nashville songwriter Pebe Sebert, which results in an eclectic album that touches on funk, punk, rockabilly, and alt-country. For all that it sounds disjointed, with only a couple exceptions, it is a surprisingly cohesive album tied together on the strength of Kesha’s voice.
I will say that people who only want to hear the heretofore standard synth/electro-pop dance hits that Kesha has produced under the direction of her former producer won’t find a ton of stuff on this album. There are nods in that direction ( Hymn, Learn to Let Go, Boots), but this album is much wider than that, and travels far enough afield that people who only really care about the dance music are likely to be disappointed. There is a lot of acoustic music (6 tracks). and the rest is rock or rockability leaning.
With 14 tracks, the honest truth is that most people are going to consider something on this album as filler. And there are songs that I consider less successful than others (Boots, Boogie Feet) , but there isn’t any song on this album that I think is bad. And given that there are only two songs on the album over 4 minutes, everyone should have the patience to just wait through the songs that don’t thrill them as much.
Recommendation: Buy It
Tracks I have a Playlist for: Bastards, Let ‘Em Talk, Finding You, Rainbow, Godzilla
Tracks I would Thumbs Down: None