Ke­sha shines brighter than ever on ‘Rain­bow’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY MESFIN FEKADU

Ke­sha, “Rain­bow’’ (RCA Records)

There’s a beau­ti­ful way that Ke­sha de­liv­ers the screech­ing high note near the end of “Pray­ing,’’ the first sin­gle from her first al­bum in five years, “Rain­bow.’’

It’s not tech­ni­cally per­fect, but mu­si­cally, it’s flaw­less. This is free­dom.

The touch­ing pi­ano song — with lyrics like “no more mon­sters, I can breathe again’’ — show­cases a newer, stronger Ke­sha. Though she has been singing for years, she is now truly say­ing some­thing.

“Rain­bow’’ is the 30-yearold’s first time cre­at­ing mu­sic com­mer­cially with­out her for­mer col­lab­o­ra­tor and mentee, Dr. Luke. Since 2010, they have made count­less Top 10 hits, from “TiK ToK’’ to “We R Who We R,’’ and also co-wrote songs to­gether for Brit­ney Spears and Mi­ley Cyrus. Be­fore that, Ke­sha sang back­ground on tracks Dr. Luke pro­duced for other artists.

The two have been at war, though, since Ke­sha claimed the pro­ducer drugged, sex­u­ally abused and psy­cho­log­i­cally tor­mented her. Dr. Luke is deny­ing the al­le­ga­tions.

Some of the new songs, like “Pray­ing’’ and opener “Bas­tards,’’ could be di­rected at Dr. Luke, but the al­bum is more about Ke­sha, and her growth. Pro­duc­ers on “Rain­bow’’ in­clude Ricky Reed, An­drew Pear­son and Ryan Lewis (from the rap duo with Mack­le­more).

“Hymn,’’ co-writ­ten with her mother Pebe Se­bert, is ir­re­sistible and an­themic; “Learn to Let Go’’ is up­beat and punchy; and “Woman,’’ fea­tur­ing The DapKings Horns, is em­pow­er­ing and bouncy.

The silly Ke­sha, who joked about brush­ing her teeth in Jack Daniels, is still here, too, though the gim­mick is gone. Over­all, Ke­sha glows, and “Rain­bow’’ is ra­di­ant.

AP PHOTO

This cover im­age re­leased by Ke­mosabe Records/RCA Records shows “Rain­bow,” the lat­est re­lease by Ke­sha.

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