New albums: Kesha - "Rainbow"; Dan Wilson, "Re-Covered"
Release date: Aug. 11
Genre: Pop, country,
Review: There's a beautiful way that Kesha delivers the screeching high note near the end of "Praying," the first single from her first album in five years, "Rainbow."
It's not technically perfect, but musically, it's flawless. This is freedom.
The touching piano song — with lyrics like "no more monsters, I can breathe again" — showcases a newer, stronger Kesha. Though she has been singing for years, she is now truly saying something.
"Rainbow" is the 30-year-old's first time creating music commercially without her former collaborator and mentee, Dr. Luke.
The two have been at war, though, since Kesha claimed the producer drugged, sexually abused and psychologically tormented her. Dr. Luke is denying the allegations.
Some of the new songs, like "Praying" and opener "Bastards," could be directed at Dr. Luke, but the album is more about Kesha, and her growth.
Overall, Kesha glows, and "Rainbow" is radiant.
Big Deal Media
Release date: Aug. 4
Genre: Folk rock, country, alternative rock
Review: Dan Wilson helped write that tune? And that one, too? If you still read album credits or liner notes, you may find Wilson's name attached to some of your favorites songs.
Formerly of Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic, the Minnesota-born Wilson has collaborated with an impressive array of musicians. On "Re-Covered," he performs his songs made famous by a dozen artists including Adele, John Legend, the Dixie Chicks, Chris Stapleton and Taylor Swift.
Adele's "Someone Like You" and the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready To Make Nice," both Grammy winners, as well as LeAnn Rimes' "Borrowed," came with very personal stories.
Wilson proves his empathy, especially on "Someone Like You" with backing from The Kronos Quartet, his versions conserve the originals' intimacy with time healing some of the wounds.
Recorded mostly in a weeklong session co-helmed by Ryan Adams producer Mike Viola and backed by musicians like Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas, "Re-Covered" has sufficient flourishes to avoid sounding like a collection of demos and straightforward arrangements that let the songwriting stand on its own plentiful merits.
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