Kesha's single offers a glimmer at her upcoming album

By AMANDA KARP
On October 29, 2019

Photo courtesy of jim pop, Flickr

Kesha has released a music video for her new single, “Raising Hell (feat. Big Freedia),” from her upcoming fourth album “High Road.”

The single marks her return to pop, following her 2017 album “Rainbow,” a ballad-focused and emotional record with feminist themes cataloged inner strength, overcoming hardship and self-love.

“Raising Hell” is the kind of song audiences would’ve seen on earlier albums like “Animal” and “Warrior.” Kesha’s sound has matured, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t having fun writing and recording her music. 

“Good people sometimes enjoy doing bad things,” Kesha said in an interview with RADIO.COM. “It doesn’t take away from you being a fantastic soul. It’s just kind of fun to be naughty.” 

The song proves the statement true, as she sings in the chorus, “We can always find the trouble, we don't need no help / Singing oh, mama raised me well / But I don't wanna go to Heaven without raisin' hell (Get it).”

Kesha pairs “Raising Hell” alongside a music video where she portrays a televangelist married to an abusive husband. Although beloved by the people she preaches to, her husband wants nothing to do with her. She attempts to win him back over, but during a struggle, winds up killing him. 

The rest of the video focuses on the consequences of her actions, including hiding the body in her trunk, dyeing her hair and hiding out in a motel until she’s in the midst of a chase with the police.

Though the music video comes across as more serious than the song, it works well with the premise of wanting to have a good time and have good things in your life, until it’s soured by an unfortunate event.

Regardless of her actions, there’s “No walk of shame 'cause I love this dress / Only God can judge this holy mess.”

More than that, “Raising Hell” is a love letter to her fans who have supported her through struggles in her life, such as the lawsuit she brought against Dr. Luke for sexual assault and harassment in 2016.

Her fans are directly referenced in the outro: “Can I get an amen? / This is for the misfits of creation / Take this as your holy validation / You don't need to hide your celebratin' / This is our salvation.”

“Rainbow” was a healing record following her time in court, and “High Road,” according to an interview with Rolling Stone, was supposed to be a “psychedelic country album.” But the album production took a different turn when Kesha had a conversation with her brother where he encouraged her to write pop songs.

“I kind of felt like I didn’t have the right to be happy and write happy songs, and then ‘My Own Dance’ was the first pop song I wrote. I was like, ‘Fine. I’ll go write a [explitive] pop song,’” Kesha told Rolling Stone. “And then I was like, ‘Wait, this is super fun. Why am I keeping myself from the greatest pleasure of my life?’ And I have to say, that song and that conversation with my brother put me on the path of finding probably the most severe happiness I’ve ever had my entire life.”

“High Road” will be released on Jan. 20, 2020.

5 stars

 

akarp@ramapo.edu

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