I've Prayed, I'm Learning To Let Go, And Now I See The Rainbow
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I've Prayed, I'm Learning To Let Go, And Now I See The Rainbow

A review of Kesha's new album, Rainbow.

I've Prayed, I'm Learning To Let Go, And Now I See The Rainbow
Mike Dalgarno-Holt

Kesha is a survivor. Beyond that, Kesha is a woman I idolize, and have for a very long time. She is unapologetically herself, at every turn. She has asked for help when needed. She is the embodiment of strength and grace, and a fuckload of sass. I aspire to do with my gifts what she's doing with hers: spreading love, eradicating hatred one frozen heart at a time, and doing so with unwavering forgiveness and the power of words.

I've been binging on Kesha's new album for a few days now. I've laughed, I've cried, and I've sat in tranquil silence listening to every lyric. I've said before that I'm not a "review" kind of girl, but for Kesha, I'll make an exception. So here's a collection of my thoughts on Rainbow, Kesha's newest masterpiece.

1. Bastards

Bastards is a pep talk whispered to you on the fringe of sleep, when it's just you and her and the sweet reminder that the bastards, and the assholes, and the mean girls, and the scumbags, only hold the power that you give them. Bastards is what you listen to when you're lying in your bed, late at night, mid-crying binge. It's Kesha reminding you to keep your head up, like a fucking boss, in lullaby form.

2. Let 'Em Talk

I'm smiling, with the windows down, hitting 70 mph on the highway. My head's nodding with the music and I'm screaming "fuck all that" at the top of my lungs. I'm turning up the volume and losing it, yelling "suck my dick" at the first person I pass. Let 'Em Talk is your summer anthem, the perfect song to put you back on your fuck-you throne.

3. Woman

"OK, shut up." Every woman needs this song. 'Cuz you're a motherfucker. Let 'Em Talk and Woman can go back-to-back for me. For all I care, I'm screaming this at every fuckboy I see. Yes, that means all of them. Try it. "Don't call me hunny, 'cuz I run my shit baby." Seriously, this is the girls' night pregame song of all girls' night pregames.

4. Hymn

At 1:30 am, when you're leaning against the window of the Uber that's driving you home from the bar, your best riend is blaring this from the aux in the front seat. The window's down, blowing cool air across your face, brushing back your wild hair after a crazy night. It's a reminder that as fucked up as you are, you're not alone, and you're perfect in all your fucked-up glory.

5. Praying

I've already said it all, because Praying is single handedly the best song I have ever heard Kesha sing. And even though I can't forgive my attacker, this song makes me want to. I have cried to this song. I have laughed to this song. I have smiled. I have blasted it at the top volume of my car, screaming the lyrics to the point that I am hoarse, in broad daylight and in the middle of the night. It is a song for every survivor, of every trauma, and every loss. It is resilience in melodic form. It is everything. Everything.

6. Learn To Let Go

Kesha has always been a strong proponent for unwavering forgiveness, for herself and for others. She has preached self-love and self-less love for as long as I've followed her career. I think she wrote this for herself as much as she did for everyone else. We all forget, from time to time, just how important letting go can be in the process of loving ourselves. Learn To Let Go is the reminder, a letter to us, and a creed for her, in a song that makes you want to stand on the top of a mountain, or in the middle of the ocean, with your hands in the air and the breeze in your hair.

7. Finding You

I'm always looking for the next song that reminds me of him, because I love to torture myself, I guess. There's a ghost of who he used to be and this song is how I feel about that phantom love. And I'll probably listen to this a thousand times for the next week until I find another, but this one will stick. It'll be my go-to, driving home in the dark and three years from now when I'm lying in bed trying to go to sleep. It's her perfect blend: slow and fast, a little sad and raw, and more found than lost. "I'll keep finding, finding you."

8. Rainbow

You ever hear a song, that you didn't know you'd ever needed until that moment? This is it. It feels like that warm, bone-crushing hug from your best friend when you're feeling at your lowest, at your most lost. It's her wrapping her arm around you as you stumble down the sidewalk on a warm summer night, and showing you that the world is still beautiful, just like this song, even in the shit of it all.

9. Hunt You Down

And when you think she's showing you vulnerable, she'll come back and show you tough. I'd call this fun, and a little crazy, and a lot of Kesha. A little honky, sweet reminder than love can make you crazy, and you might be the love of her life, but if you cheat she'll hunt you down.

10. Boogie

Well, I wanna dance with her. Boogie's like my Kesha Footloose, maybe even my Kesha Fired Up!, if you will. It's a putting away the groceries, dancing in your underwear kind of song. Shake your ass with a beer in your hand kind of song. Singing into your brush in the mirror, never tell anyone kind of song. And while it's not my favorite, I'll still jam to it when Apple Music shuffle tells me it's time.

11. Boots

Gold Trans Am makes me want to have sex in my car, you know? Boots? Makes me want to slide under silky sheets in the bed of a hotel lined with floor to ceiling glass walls. Dance for him in a pair of boots to this song, right before I jump his bones. There's just no other words for that, you know?

12. Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle To You)

I love that Kesha covered her mother's song, again, for this album. It's a tribute to her mothers' lasting influence, the strength of their relationship, and the support system she has in the women in her life. I also love that Dolly, who also covered the song during the 80s, is on the track. It's just a classic, and I love Kesha's spin on the classics. Always.

13. Godzilla

God, I love this song. I don't know why, but some of my favorite Kesha songs are the ones that make me laugh out loud. The silly, the carefree, and the childish creativity that lift your soul; that's some of my favorite work of hers. I mean, come on, who else would write a song about falling in love with Godzilla? Maybe it's a metaphor for falling in love with a monster, and if not that's okay, because even though it makes me smile, it still makes me feel things.

14. Spaceship

She's always been a little weird, and almost everyone I know hates it as much as I love it. It makes them uncomfortable, but me? I'm embracing it. She's just her. Unapologetically. And if she's going home to a spaceship at the end of her life here, I hope they treat her better than the people here have. Maybe this is just a 2 am ramble, and I'll change my mind in the morning...but for now...despite everything this woman has gone through, she refuses to be anything less than who she is, and she knows there's something better out there.

The whole album's a little honky (for lack of a better term), save a few exceptions. But it's still Kesha. It's new, and it's old. Her versatility shines through in spades: from fast to slow, dark and uplifting, to probably some of the deepest notes I've heard from her to the highest, she's growing. This album is living testament to her journey. From bulimia, and Dr. Luke, and finally exploring herself as a person, she's come so far. I can't wait to see what's on the horizon for her, or what's at the end of the Rainbow, to be more precise... and I will continue to follow along as I always have. So can you love someone you've never met? Can you love someone for giving you music that sets you free? I think you can, and I think I do. Thank you, Kesha.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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