“It’s from our darkest moments that we gain the most strength.” – Kesha in her personal essay for Lenny Letter.
Pop superstar Kesha is reborn with her power-ballad, Praying, the first from her long-awaited third album, Rainbow.
I’ve never really been a fan of Kesha, who first came to prominence with her debut single TiK ToK in 2009. While her debut album, Animal (and the follow up record, Warrior) garnered her millions of fans worldwide and accolades that most musicians only dream of, I couldn’t help but be put off by the “poppiness” of her material, that commercial vibe that, to me, sounded a little too manufactured.
But Praying, written in the aftermath of a hellish five years which prevented the pop singer from releasing any new music, is something else entirely.
There’s a richness and vulnerability to Praying that has been missing from her previous songs. A piano ballad, Kesha explores her unique vocal range in a way that, in my opinion, has been previously left untapped. The husky edge to her tone, and the skill with which she has arranged this heartfelt composition shows true talent. Aussie folk band, All Our Exes Live in Texas lend the song a slight gospel feel, and the combination of these two artists is almost perfect.
Lyrically, Kesha allows the song to speak for her, fighting against those who tried to drag her down. While it is heartbreaking in some points, there’s also a sense of empowerment that cannot be ignored.
Kesha will probably entirely lose that pop vibe that has earned her such success, but Praying signifies a turning point in her career, a strength and awareness that can only mean that the best is yet to come.
[Editor/Author Note: Don’t forget to check out my review of All Our Exes Live in Texas’ debut album, When We Fall. You can also read more about their involvement with Praying here, and the video clip for the song is on YouTube.]