Ray of light

Cal­i­for­nian pop hero Ke­sha re­turns with a de­fi­ant coun­try and garage rock-tinged tri­umph

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Ke­sha

Rain­bow ★★★★ three years ago Ke­sha rose se­bert found her­self at the cen­tre of one the big­gest le­gal bat­tles in re­cent pop his­tory. the

Cal­i­for­nian singer-song­writer al­leged that Dr Luke, the pro­ducer who signed her at 18, had sub­jected her to “men­tal ma­nip­u­la­tion, emo­tional abuse and sex­ual as­sault”.

Fans protested to ‘Free Ke­sha’, call­ing for her to be freed from her con­tract so she could make mu­sic else­where. In turn, Dr Luke – not a real doc­tor – coun­ter­sued for defama­tion. Last year, af­ter a judge threw out her abuse claims against Dr Luke, Ke­sha dropped her case, but on ‘rain­bow’ – her first al­bum since 2012’s ‘War­rior’ – the ef­fects of the highly pub­li­cised law­suit ring loud.

“the rea­son I wanted to name this record ‘rain­bow’ is be­cause I kind of as­so­ciate heal­ing with go­ing back to my child­like mind, be­fore I got all twisted and turned and beaten and heart­bro­ken and all those things,” she said in a re­cent in­ter­view. the cathar­tic na­ture of the al­bum is clear­est on the emo­tive piano and string-laden bal­lad ‘Pray­ing’, a force­ful Lady-gaga-wor­thy

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