Kesha’s 10 Best Deep Cuts
Ever since Kesha burst onto the scene with her 2009 breakout, "Tik Tok," her name has hardly left the headlines.
With her debut album Animal reaching No. 1 in eleven countries, success has always been within the singer-songwriter's reach: The “Your Love Is My Drug” hit maker became instantly synonymous with electro-pop, glitter and the glitzy dollar sign in her former stage name. Eight years after making her debut, Kesha is on the brink of releasing her eagerly-anticipated third studio album, Rainbow.
We all know her chart-topping hits like “Die Young," but tucked lovingly within Kesha’s discography are hidden gems that deserve a second listen. Despite what you might think of the AutoTune-heavy pop star (in her early work, at least), the artist has always had substance, something no better exemplified than within her non-single efforts.
Below, discover Kesha’s ten best deep cuts, from the dancehall classic “Only Wanna Dance With You” to a stripped down cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Rright."
“Only Wanna Dance With You,” Warrior
On this synth-ridden gem, Kesha enlists the help of Strokes members Julian Casablancas (guest vocals/guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums)—a true embodiment of pop meets rock. It's an exhilarating collaboration that makes this track essential listening.
“Dirty Love,” Warrior
Kesha’s always said that Warrior is heavily inspired by rock 'n' roll and the greats that came before her, and that’s why this track featuring the one and only Iggy Pop is something dreams are made of. Its daring punk approach to a good old pop song makes it a stand-out.
“Stephen” goes beyond what you’d expect of Kesha: The a Capella intro and bouncy, simple melody might take you by surprise at first, but it’s a down-to-the-bones love song that goes against the party girl image she originally cut out for herself. “Stephen, why won’t you call me?” she begs, before the track, an ode to a love that never was, explodes into a flurry of layered harmonies.
“Past Lives”, Warrior
“Past Lives” is a breath of fresh air, a sunrise announcing its arrival after the party that is Warrior is over. It’s one of the slowest songs on the album, with strings, echoing vocals and lines about “stardust” and “lovers in a past life,” and it's easily one of her most heartfelt efforts.
The real star of this track is the build-up towards the chorus—a racing crescendo that Kesha catches up to with with ease. “The night is fading, heart is racing,” she belts in a race against time over glimmering beats that could easily belong on any early '00s hit. “Now, just come and love me like we're gonna die!”
Another glimmering track within the diamond in the rough that is Warrior - “Wonderland” is a piano ballad, with a twist. “Back to wonderland, where it all began,” she sings, a battle of crescendos and harmonies behind her. It’s one of the first few instances where her natural vocals were able to shine.
“Crazy Beautiful Life,” Cannibal
“Crazy Beautiful Life” accompanied Kesha’s short-lived reality MTV series of the same name, an intimate look into her days of partying and excess. The track itself is two minutes and fifty seconds of pure electro-pop goodness, giving us one of the star’s most catchy hooks by far.
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right," Chimes of Freedom
This stripped-down, a Capella cover of Bob Dylan’s powerful “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” is one of the first instances where Kesha’s soulful vocals were able to shine, setting aside the AutoTune and synths for a classic that any Dylan fan can appreciate.
Ever wanted to bump a song about having sexual experiences with a ghost? Laugh if you must, but “Supernatural” is the hit-that-never-was if we’ve ever heard one. The dubstep-infused track, which features some of Kesha’s more boldly provocative lyrics, is a metaphysical delight.
“Love Into the Light”, Warrior
Considering Kesha’s recent legal troubles, “Love Into The Light” takes on a different meaning now. Its slow build-up leads the way to some pretty heartbreaking lyrics, channeling another side of Kesha. In the album’s commentary, she touches upon the song’s significance: “'Love Into The Light' is special for me because I wrote that song by myself. It’s a message from me to myself and also really relevant to my fans, especially anybody that has had to deal with bullies, which most young people have to. It’s about how we should all stop talking s--- about each other and judging each other and hating each other and start accepting each other and loving each other. I know it’s been said a million times, but it can’t be said enough.”
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