Bastards starts as a slow acoustic guitar, Kesha’s plaintive croon is laid atop with “Don’t let the bastards take you down” and the lesser known “don’t let the a§§h@les wear you out.” Additional guitar as well as appropos admonitions and warnings about others that might steal the real you, then finally bringing in background vocals that pull the whole thing together before the end. It makes you feel like you are there at the end swaying and holding up a candle singing.
Let ‘Em Talk is Miley Cyrus meets P!nk with commands to forget what anyone else says. Just let them talk about you, haters gonna be haters after all. Oh, and it features Eagles of Death Metal; note to self to find out more about them.
(Alright! Shut up!)…
Woman is a power song for women everywhere. When driving my teen daughter and her friend, this song came on the Spotify they were running through the car audio. Her friend pipes up, “I love this song, it is such an empowering song for women. Turn it up!” Yah, that’s how I know. Directly from the mouths of fans who get it. Young women that need to hear that they don’t need a man to make them whole. That they are strong on their own and not to listen to anyone who says differently.
Hymn is literally a hymn, it says so in the lyrics. Another anthem for these new ages we find ourselves in. What does it mean? I’ll leave it for you to interpret (and apologize to Kesha here if I’ve misinterpreted any others).
This is a hymn for the hymnless, kids with no religion
Yeah, we keep on sinning, yeah, we keep on singing
Flying down the highway, backseat of the Hyundai
Pull it to the front, let it run, we don’t valet
Praying is as equally powerful as Woman, perhaps more so given the piano and context. Clearly an end of the storm, now I can take time to be pissed about the situation AND feel sorry for you.”‘Cause I can make it on my own, And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known.” This song is truly extraordinary and brings goosebumps to my arms to hear it. Anyone that has gone through a life altering experience that leaves you a changed person at the end should stop… listen to this song… turn it up as loud as you like it in the beginning, because when the drums and choir come in you will FEEL the emotion… the truth of the song and know that you are stronger too.
When you finally take your own advice and let the past be in the past. When you stop blaming yourself for real and/or perceived misdeeds, that is Learn To Let Go. When you think it’s time to practice what you preach and exorcise your own demons, you are learning to let go. While I’ve learned to let go of some things, perhaps it is time to learn to let go of some others. Thanks, Kesha.
Finding You is about my wife, soul-mate, whom I feel as deeply about and will find again in our next lifetime. This song explores the philosophical path that recognizes reincarnation as a fact. That souls connect and reconnect throughout time.
I’m gonna search for your love, right through Hell and Heaven
Millions of years yet to come and in all dimensions
I know that you’ll always be my happy ending
Poor kitty cat, I’m sorry you had to go through so much pain. But you are here on the other side now and you can sing about the colors of your Rainbow. You are a star in the sky for many of our young now. Be that guiding light and help them to overcome their troubles too.
Hunt You Down is my favorite song on this album. A country-flavored favorite of mine. Kesha keeping it real and telling him how it is. If he cheats on her… well. Remember stalker Kesha from Stephen? Yah, she’s back and if he doesn’t toe the line, she’ll hunt him down and kill him.
My daughter told me that Boogie Feet kind of reminds her of Kate Bush’s Red Shoes. I can see where she’s coming from… as if the shoes are making you dance. Dance with me please, are you scared of these boogie feet?
Boots might be better called Boots and One Boy. If you are familiar with Boots and Boys from Animal, this one is kind of the sequel to it. What happens when Kesha settles down with one boy? It starts with a bird screech then what sounds like horse clopping and while the music isn’t country she sings of being a cowgirl and knowing that her man likes her wearing nothing but his boots. Kesha also uses her signature reference to herself as a “kitty.” Meow.
In the early ’80s Kesha’s mom wrote Old Flames (Don’t Hold a Candle to You) for Dolly Parton. This is, of course, the other country influenced song. She does an amazing job singing this song and I can only imagine the feeling of pride and accomplishment it must have been for Kesha to record it with Dolly.
I am particularly fond of songs that break my notion of the artist’s mold. Godzilla is that for Kesha. Not because it’s about what happens when your friends and family don’t like your choice of companion. But because it is unlike anything else that I’ve heard from her musically and stands alone as a poem – reminiscent of Shel Silverstein. I was reminded of Oak Cliff Bra by Edie Brickell (and the New Bohemians). For many, this song will be the one that is skipped in favor of those that get more airplay. For me it is something I intentionally play to make me smile. You may too.
If you are a song skipper as mentioned above on Godzilla, then you may never hear Spaceship. That would be a shame because here Kesha explores philosophy again.
As I leave this Earth and sail into the infinite cosmic universe, the wars, the triumphs, the beauty, and the bloodshed, the ocean of human endeavor, it all grows quiet, insignificant. I’m nothing more than recycled stardust and borrowed energy, born from a rock, spinning in the aether. I watch my life backwards and forwards and I feel free. Nothing is real, love is everything, and I know nothing.
If you enjoy this track, you might want to go back to Warrior and listen to Past Lives again.
Concert In Atlanta
So, I’m taking my daughter and her good friend (the friend I mentioned earlier) to the upcoming Kesha concert at the Coca-Cola Roxy. I expect that it will be an unforgettable evening and am happy to be able to chaperone this trip for them to hear the music of a talented musician that reinforces their own identity as women.
My youngest and I had a great time together at the Culture Club concert a couple of years ago and I took another daughter to a No Doubt/Paramore concert even more years ago. Exposure to concerts when I was young made me appreciate music all the more today.
So, I’m also very excited to be going to the Kesha concert for myself. I love concerts… the loud music with no remote to turn it down… the atmosphere of fellow music lovers ready to enjoy the unparalleled experience of an artist on stage.
So, Kesha, if you are reading, I’m bringing a couple of young Animals to your show on September 29th in Atlanta. I really appreciate what you’ve done for girls (women) everywhere. You are in inspiration.
Brian Gibbins is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, thinker, and maker of things. He writes about technical things at tech.briangibbins.com and about his childhood in the Colorado Rockies at elevation9640.com.