Few artists have managed to do what Kesha has done on her latest album, Rainbow: Speak through pain so clearly, so directly that hope becomes visible on the other side. The album, stunning and triumphant, is for anyone who has ever experienced pain so severe, you thought you might never recover. Rainbow is proof that recovery is not only possible, but can be spectacular.
Rainbow is Kesha’s first album since 2012, and she’s fought tooth and nail to bring it to life. Embroiled in a legal battle with former Kemosabe Records boss Dr. Luke, who she says sexually and emotionally abused her for more than a decade, Kesha has been fighting since 2014 — unsuccessfully — to get out of her contracts with the label. In fact, Rainbow, released today, was put out by Kemosabe Records (though Dr. Luke stepped down from his position as label head in April).
At the same time, the singer was living in a rehab facility and undergoing treatment for an eating disorder, given only one hour a day with a keyboard to make music and process her emotions.
But in spite of those legal, emotional, and spiritual troubles, Kesha has produced the best work of her career.
On every track, from the anthemic “Bastards” to the heart-wrenching “Praying” to the punk rock “Let ‘Em Talk,” Kesha speaks her truth in clear language that cuts straight to the heart of her experience.
On the album’s title track, Kesha reflects on reconnecting with her true self, singing,
“Woman,” the second single from Rainbow, is an anthem for nasty women, bad gals, and everyone who persists in the face of male oppression. With lyrics like, “I’m a motherf***ing woman, baby, alright. I don’t need a man to be holding me too tight,” it’s the kind of song that makes you hold your head a little higher and march a little more confidently down the street.
In an essay for Refinery29, out today, Kesha explains how Rainbow came to be. She says she wrote the title track in rehab, during her one hour per day with a keyboard, and held onto it, knowing she wanted to turn it into a full album once she was out. She explained,
With the album’s release today, Kesha showed herself — and the world — that she’s strong enough to achieve anything she sets her mind to.
Along with the release of the album, Kesha has announced a North American tour. Tickets are already beginning to sell out, so try to snap some up if you still can. And clear your schedule today, because you’ll be listening to Rainbow on repeat. We guarantee it.