High Road takes listeners along Kesha’s journey of discovering an unapologetic love for life

Official album cover

Listening to my Today’s Hits playlist on Apple Music while I prepare myself for the day ahead, a captivating, alluring song begins to spread its sound around the area of my bathroom. Encouraging freedom and spontaneity, I can’t help but smile, and dance along, as a powerful and euphonious voice clearly delivers its message. 

As I turn to my phone to look at whose song this is, I discover that the sterling single is “Raising Hell” by singer-songwriter and executive producer Kesha. Instantaneously, my curiosity forces me to research this song, and I discover that the album it’s associated with, High Road, was recently released. 

From there, Today’s Hits took the backseat as Kesha took me along her journey of rediscovering adoration for life in High Road

High Road is Kesha’s fourth studio album; meanwhile, it is the second album of hers in which she took the role of executive producing along with writing. Released on January 31, 2020, the album essentially took four years to create. With an overall upbeat, positive sound and vibe compared to its heavy predecessor, Rainbow (2017), High Road is an outlet for Kesha to return to the vital pop she is famous for. 

With the perfect mixture of calmly paced, meaningful songs to buoyant party songs, High Road provides music to please any palate a listener might obtain. Including 15 emotional, stimulating, and uplifting songs, High Road continues the newfound maturity in Kesha’s music that Rainbow first introduced to audiences in 2017. 

“BFF” 

Commencing with an interesting, coffee-shop beat, “BFF” instantly was catchy. Featuring a male’s (Wrabel) and Kesha’s vocals, I was impressed as to how well the pair’s voices meshed together. In real life, Kesha and artist Wrabel are friends; therefore, the authenticity of their message is clear, and their vocal talent shined through their voices. Listening to the lyrics, I immediately was interested in organizing a “girls’ night” as soon as possible with my best friends.

“Tonight” 

Presenting raw emotion behind her seemingly-untouched vocals, “Tonight” at first appears to be a ballad. However, listeners are soon flabbergasted as a unique and prominent rap/hip hop element takes over the pace of the song in the verses. The subject of the song covers finding relief from the stresses of a romantic relationship through spending an enjoyable night with friends. Truly, the theme of spontaneity that Kesha’s album exhibits finds expression in “Tonight.”

“High Road” 

“High Road” starts out very similarly to “Tonight:” Kesha’s dynamic vocals are the calm before the storm of an energetic beat and the layering of many different vocals. Knowing Kesha’s history, listeners can infer that “High Road” covers her feelings towards the experiences that she describes in Rainbow. Conveying a theme of having carelessness accompany liveliness, Kesha sings about what the album itself means to her: falling in love with life again. Slightly explicit, the song does target older audiences; however, the idea of being appreciative of life is suitable for all ages. 

“Resentment” 

This song is destined to become a chart-topper; the combination of male and female vocals being accompanied by gentle humming and vocalizing in the background is utterly pleasing to the ear. Being about a breakup, the song features a delicate sound while delivering biting lyrics. Including lyrics such as, “I don’t hate you, babe. It’s worse than that,” listeners are taken through the description of a relationship between two people who love each other but simply are destructive to each other: it isn’t healthy for the pair to remain together.  

“Shadow” 

One of the slower songs included in the album, “Shadow” portrays a beautiful message about being unapologetic to who you are. With lyrics such as, “Get your shadow out of my sunshine, out of my blue skies,” listeners are encouraged to drop the negative people—the “shadows”—in their own lives as Kesha belts the lyrics passionately and proudly. 

From there, Today’s Hits took the backseat as Kesha took me along her journey of rediscovering adoration for life in High Road. ”

Overall, High Road is a satisfying mix of purposeful and frivolous songs. With what seems to be Kesha’s confirmation of a turn towards more serious subjects in her music, I am excited to see what she plans to release next.