Kesha’s ‘High Road’ takes the low road


Graphic by Elliot Sheets

Kesha should do more along the style of her work in Pitbull’s “Timber.”

On Jan. 31, 2020, Kesha released her highly anticipated new album, “High Road.” This is her first album in three years, and it sits as a contrast to her last one, “Rainbow.” While “Rainbow” had a somber tone, “High Road” was composed with a much more proud and energetic vibe.
I’ll be honest, I’m more of a country-music person myself. I rarely listen to pop music anymore, but, having been a fan of Kesha’s work in Pitbull’s “Timber,” I figured that I’d give it a shot.
In “My Own Dance,” a song she previewed before the release, Kesha alluded to the contrast of “High Road” to “Rainbow”:
“So, the internet called, and it wants you back / But could you kinda rap and not be so sad?”
Indeed, Kesha sounds quite confident as she chants the song’s refrain, Hey, I don’t do that dance / Hey, I don’t do that. I was not a fan of this track. It was much in the style of the ‘rap’ genre. It felt as though I was being shouted at the entire time, only I didn’t know what I had done wrong.
Moreover, I felt there were too many unnecessary expletives. For example, at one point in the song, Kesha says, “We get that you’ve been through a lot of [EXPLETIVE] / But life’s a [EXPLETIVE], so come on, shake your [EXPLETIVE] and [EXPLETIVE] it”. I didn’t know what to think.
The titular song “High Road” was by far my favorite. Among all the songs on the album, it had the most easily discernible melody and was certainly a toe-tapper. The chorus, post-chorus and verses were all of different styles that helped progress the song and keep the listener interested.
One song I was looking forward to hearing was “Cowboy Blues.” My suspicion was proven correct as it was (an attempt at) a country song. Unfortunately, it lacked the bass to complement the treble that makes country music enjoyable. Moreover, it was a mellow slow-song.
“Resentment,” was one of the more enjoyable songs on the album. I found it to be an interesting addition to the album, as it had a somber mood that goes against the characteristic joyfulness for which the “High Road” has been advertised.
“High Road” is definitely provocative, almost as much as the music videos for it. I found many of the artist’s choices poor in taste, so this album gets a 4 out of 10. I’ll stick with listening to “Timber.”