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High road cover
Released January 31, 2020
Genre Pop
Length 00:52:03
Producers Kesha
Jeff Bhasker
Ryan Lewis
Stint
Stuart Crichton
John Hill
Drew Pearson
Louis Schoorl
Omega
Label Rca records logo Kemosabe records logo
Discography
Rainbow cover
High road cover
N/A
Singles from High Road
  1. "Raising Hell"
    Released: October 24, 2019
  2. "Tonight"
    Released: January 28, 2020

​​​​​​High Road is the fourth studio album by Kesha. The album began production in June 2018. It was due to be released on January 10, 2020, but was pushed back to January 31, 2020.

Background

Production of the album begun in June of 2018. A photo of Kesha in the studio working on the album surfaced online on February 6, 2019. On June 3, Kesha retweeted a fan's tweet (@crazykeshafans) which stated, "K4 IS COMING. GET READY FOR THE RELEASES." In a video posted on August 12, one day after the two year anniversary of Rainbow, Kesha stated, "maybe more magical jams are coming soon!"[1] When asked about new music on an Instagram story Q&A, Kesha answered: "That's top secret sorry! I could tell you but only the aliens know !" In an Instagram livestream, Sage said the songs were recorded and Kesha was filming stuff for the album.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote in an article, regarding Kesha's outfit for her room at 29Rooms:

Kesha was the first to arrive, wearing a mermaid-inspired blue embellished caftan and long platinum blonde hair that were on point for her otherworldly room, inspired by her soon-to-be released music [2]

In a 2019 article from Billboard, Kesha stated,

While writing my new album, I seemed to lose track of all of my f–ks...I have danced a lot while making this one and cried some tears. I’m not sure what genre it is. Y’all will have to tell me.[3]

For her covershoot for Billboard, she said about her album,[4]

I can go back to talking a little bit of shit. I really wanted to put a solid footprint back into pop music, like, 'I can do this, and I can do this on my own.' I don't know if this is my last pop record, but I want to have one where I go out with a bang.

According to Twitter, Kesha was in London doing an album playback on October 8. Later in October, Kesha posted a clip of the instrumental to "Raising Hell" and a melting candle. The words "HIGH" are on the left, possibly teasing the name of the album. If you look closely at the bottom of the candle, you can see "HIGH ROAD 2019". The same day, she posted the clip in reverse and with "ROAD" to the right.[5] On October 21, Rolling Stone confirmed the title High Road and premiered the album's trailer.[6] On October 25th, Kesha posted a video announcing the track list on October 25.[7] On November 18, all the tracks’ lengths were revealed on iTunes.

On December 18, 2019, RCA Records confirmed that there would be more songs added to the album.[8]

The entire album leaked January 29, 2020, two days before the release date.

During her Reddit AMA, she finished a song five days prior to the album's release, which she revealed to be "Summer". It was a last minute addition to the album.

Music and composition

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Kesha expanded on how the process of making High Road was different from that of Rainbow: "I feel like this time around I reconnected to the unrestrained joy and wildness that's always been a part of me — and in this process I have had the most fun I've ever had making a record. I hope my fans love it as much as I loved making it — and know I always have y'all in mind." she continued, "On the last record, I feel like I had to address some very serious things, and now this time around I have reclaimed my love of life. To quote one of my favorite songs of all time I've decided to 'fight for my right to party!' On my own terms. I won't be defined by my past, but I will learn from it. I am so happy, and I hope that happiness is infectious."

"When I wrote Rainbow, I was in a very different headspace," she says. "I had to address some very serious things." Over footage of her in the studio working on High Road, Kesha continues, "But now, on my new record, I revisit my roots of pure and utter debaucherous joy. Kesha got her balls back, and they're bigger than ever. So have a good time while you're on this road trip from Hell." The trailer ends with footage of a Kesha-shaped candle played in reverse, building itself back up from melted wax.[9]

According to Billboard, [10] the sound of the album is said to be "uptempo" as well as a reminiscent of both Animal and Rainbow. She has enlisted the help of Jeff Bhasker (Harry Styles, Bruno Mars), Macklemore's Ryan Lewis ("Praying", "Good Old Days"), Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds, Justin Tranter (Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez), Tayla Parx (Ariana Grande's "thank u, next") and fun.'s Nate Ruess.

Promotion

To promote the album, a hotline is available for fans to call to get updates on new music.[11] When called, a recorded message from Kesha is played,

Aren't we all demons? Don't we all love to raise a little hell? I know I do. Time to get saved y'all. Release those demons. Let them dance.

A text message is sent with a link to sign up for Kesha's phonebook.[12] After signing up, fans should receive a message saying,

Can't go to heaven without raising a little hell, darlin, let's go⛪

Following the release of the lead single, "Raising Hell" became Shazam's song of the day. Kesha also became the cover of YouTube's Pop Hotlist, Spotify's TGIF, and Apple Music's A-List Pop playlists. In addition, Spotify advertised "Raising Hell" on their Toronto and Times Square billboards. MTV also played the music video on loop on a NYC billboard. Kesha and Big Freedia performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the American Music Awards on October 28 and November 24, respectively. On November 30, Kesha performed the song solo on The Graham Norton Show.

Two promotional singles were released from the album, "My Own Dance" and "Resentment". On January 10, 2020, Kesha performed "Raising Hell" again with Big Freedia on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. While being interviewed by Colbert, she did his make-up with products from Kesha Rose Beauty.

On January 27, Kesha announced on her first TikTok video that "Tonight" would be released as the second official single. She later confirmed it would be released the following day.

On January 30th, Kesha also performed "Resentment" for the first time with Wrabel on The Late Late Show with James Corden. After the album was released, Kesha appeared on Carpool Karaoke: The Series and announced her collaboration with the app Color Stories, which named photo filters after songs on the album.

Commercial performance

High Road debuted at #7 on the U.S., making this her fourth album to debut in the top 10.

Artwork

Covers

Singles

Promotional singles

Tracklisting

No. Title Length
1. "Tonight"   3:15
2. "My Own Dance"   2:41
3. "Raising Hell" (featuring Big Freedia) 2:49
4. "High Road"   3:19
5. "Shadow"   3:33
6. "Honey"   3:21
7. "Cowboy Blues"   4:00
8. "Resentment" (featuring Sturgill Simpson, Brian Wilson & Wrabel) 2:52
9. "Little Bit of Love"   2:22
10. "Birthday Suit"   2:56
11. "Kinky" (featuring Ke$ha) 3:25
12. "The Potato Song (Cuz I Want To)"   3:33
13. "BFF" (featuring Wrabel) 4:11
14. "Father Daughter Dance"   2:37
15. "Chasing Thunder"   3:41
16. "Summer"   3:30
Total length:
52:03

Bonus tracks

No. Title Length
17. "Big Bad Wolf[13]" (Japanese bonus track) 3:37

Videos

Trivia

  • Rumors for the title of the album were "Mermaid" and "Alien", due to the mermaid and alien emojis used in social media posts by Kesha, and "Odyssey", inspired by her room at 29Rooms.
  • Kesha, Wrabel, and producer Stint were in the studio on March 21, 2019.[14]
    • Kesha and Wrabel were playing Cat Tarot in the studio that day.[15]
  • Ashley Osborn began photographing Kesha in the studio in April, 2019.
    • Her photos were posted on Kesha's Instagram, which fans interpreted as Kesha teasing the theme for the album.
  • According to an Instagram story, there was a line about why Pluto isn't a planet anymore that was intended to be included in one of the songs on the album; however, it is absent from the final version.
  • On September 10, 2019, all of Kesha's Instagram highlights were removed in preparation for new highlights posted to promote the album.
  • This is the first album cover to not feature Kesha herself, rather a candle of her.
    • A wax candle similar to the one on the album cover is available for purchase from Kesha's official store, along with a matchbook, in pink, green, orange, blue and silver variants.[16]
    • It was rumored that the headpiece Kesha wears in photos taken by Dana Trippe would appear on the album's cover.[17]
  • On January 10, 2020, Kesha's website listed the digital version of High Road as "sold out."[18] The album can still be pre-ordered here. This was finally fixed on January 23, 2020.

Gallery

References

Navigation

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