Column | Warning: Kesha’s new album may gag you


Courtesy of Genius

Cover of “Gag Order,” the latest studio album by Kesha.

By Koumae Adams, Staff Writer

“In the next life, I wanna come back/ As a house cat,” is a lyric picked straight out of Kesha’s new album “Gag Order.”

Many of the tracks on this album tell stories of Kesha’s internal struggles. One track, “The Drama,” expresses a desire to escape.

When life becomes overwhelming, to desire an escape from responsibilities may be a relatable experience for many. 

Kesha leans into her feelings of escapism and wanting to be anyone but herself for a moment.

“I’ma sit and play in the sun, I’ll be a f***ing cute son of a gun,” Kesha sang, expressing a craving for simplicity in life. 

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    Released into the wild on May 19 of this year,Gag Order” is all over the place. The album jumps around emotive themes of hope, insecurity and depression — giving the listener a window into Kesha’s deepest thoughts and feelings.

    Along with yearning to escape herself, not knowing herself and lacking identity are common themes in some of the songs in the new album. “Peace & Quiet” expresses these feelings of ambiguity.

    “Baby, I’m the hero and I’m the f***ing villain,” Kesha sang.

    Throughout the song, Kesha describes an internal identity crisis, questioning whether or not she is a good person. 

    “Something to Believe In” has a darker tone and aura, positioning itself as a contrast to the brighter and more energetic track “Peace & Quiet,” where Kesha expresses feelings of going mad and being lost within herself.

    “I don’t know who I am at all,” Kesha sang in one line.

    The album’s theme of Kesha portraying herself as a blank slate shows listeners the singer’s widely relatable insecurities. 

    “I’m so embarrassing/ So used to abandoning myself/ I can’t believe I’m still alive,” Kesha sang in another line. 

    Kesha intimately reveals that the feeling of being lost and unsure of herself is eating her alive. It is clear that the singer intended for the songs from this album to be very personally sentimental — and it probably took a lot of courage for her to release them.

    A common image on the album is that of a gray area haze, which is portrayed in many of the tracks on this album. It is obvious throughout many tracks that the singer struggles with not knowing how to feel and struggling to find a single category for herself.

    Mixed feelings of yearning for love in spite of her fear of being hurt are communicated inToo Far Gone.”

    Kesha sang about the hope of finding love to be “saved” in a sense, but believing that she is too unstable or broken to make it possible without pain.

    “Too far gone and I’ll never come back,” Kesha lamented on the track. 

    The album addresses the rage she feels as a result of years of exploitation in the music industry in “Fine Line.”

    “There’s a fine line I’ve been walking’ and trying to balance is exhaustin’/ This is where you f***ers pushed me,” Kesha sang.

    Full of venom and rage, Kesha was not afraid to hold back in this song.

    According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a gag order is a judicial ruling barring public disclosure or discussion (as by the press) of information related to a case.” Perhaps this title indicates that the album — in all of its grit and honesty — was Kesha’s way of violating her self-imposed gag order.

    “There’s a fine line between what’s entertaining/ And what’s just exploiting the pain,” Kesha sang.

    “But, hey, look at all the money we made off me,” Kesha continued, ending the song with her vexed line, gagging listeners.

    “Gag Order” is as raw and personal as albums come. Themes in the album range from wanting to escape to simplicity, from intensely dark feelings and fury to hope of becoming someone new.

    “Gag Order” is raw and lets listeners live in Kesha’s brain as the singer converts her thoughts into lyrics. 

    Take the leap to listen to “Gag Order” by Kesha if you want to be gagged by the bold and deeply personal lyrics throughout the project.


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