Review: Kesha is Heated on New Album “Gag Order”

Kesha releases her dazzling sixth-studio album...

Kesha’s anger on her new album, Gag Order, is palatable with post-modern dance production and exudes sweet freedom. Where the artist’s party-kid origin melted away into soft-pop and folk enlightenment, Kesha’s fifth-studio album revisits her roots in unconventional and bold ways.

With this album marking her last contractual effort with Dr. Luke, the final track “Happy” feels like a long-held breath. When the sizzling “Eat The Acid” chews out the lyrics “You don’t want to be changed like it changed me,” Gag Order feels like anything but.

For practically a decade, Kesha’s career-hindering legal battle left two albums half-full with court hearings, surface-level optimism, and no clarity as to where the real Kesha is. Well, Gag Order, finds her unbridled at the helm with producer Rick Rubin and 13 raging, mind-bending tracks. I repeat: Kesha is coming in hot!

Favorite Moments from Gag Order by Kesha

The supplemental single, “Fine Line,” sinks its piano-ballad teeth further into flesh with its raw and vicious lyrics. “This is where you f***ers pushed me/ Don’t be surprised if s*** gets ugly,” growls Kesha. “All the doctors and lawyers cut the tongue out of my mouth / I’ve been hidin’ my anger but b**** look at me now.”

On Gag Order, Kesha lays bare her trauma, the person now affecting her mental health and relationships. Above it all, this project is Kesha hoping for a way forward. The album’s opener “Something to Believe In” reflects that sentiment where sparse “Living In My Head” searches for peace amidst anxiety and self-loathing.

Review: Kesha's anger on her new album, Gag Order, is riddled with post-modern dance production and exuding sweet freedom. Where the artist's party-kid origin melted away into soft-pop and folk enlightenment, Kesha's sixth-studio album revisits her roots in unconventional and bold ways.
Kesha (Credit: Perron-Roetinger)

The solemn eulogy of “Too Far Gone” remembers a care-free Kesha with a slow-burning background vocals scorching the chorus. “Only Love Can Save Us Now” sits on the pulse of the record and, at that, the most chaotically genius.

“I have had an overwhelming dichotomy of emotions, oscillating between pain and love. Chaos and love. Fear and love. I wanted my song ‘Only Love Can Save Us Now’ to sonically, lyrically, and emotionally reflect the severity of my mental pendulum swings. The world is so overwhelming sometimes. It requires a moment of surrender. The ludicrosity of life can make you crazy. If anything, IF ANYTHING, can save us, I believe only love can. This song is a desperate and angry prayer. A call to the light when all feels lost.”

Kesha via Twitter

Where soft moments like “All I Need Is You” shines, Kesha’s lyrical clarity is Gag Order‘s torch. The project has no answers about the future of Kesha; however the album’s tear-jerking closer, “Happy,” puts the artist a step in the right direction. That’s a win on its own.

What do you think of Kesha’s new album, Gag Order? Let us know in the comments!

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