You know the old saying about waiting ages for a bus? Well the same could be applied to Kesha singles. After a long wait for new material, due to the messy and lengthy lawsuit between the singer and her former producer Dr. Luke, Kesha has released three new tracks in as many weeks. The latest offering, ‘Learn To Let Go’, is a feel-good redemption anthem that further alludes to the downright horribleness that Kesha has been dragged through over the last few years.
A mid-tempo pop/rock romp, ‘Learn To Let Go’ is another deeply personal track that sees Kesha exorcising her demons, dragging the monster out from under her bed and giving it a good kicking. Unlike previous single ‘Praying‘ however, ‘Learn To Let Go’ is a more upbeat affair with a poppy dance chorus and ballsy, percussive production. It embodies more of the care-free attitude that characterised Kesha’s earlier singles, the singer suddenly feeling substantially lighter and liberated.
‘Learn To Let Go’ is interesting when listened to in the context of its preceding singles, ‘Praying’ and ‘Woman’. The three can be read almost as a trilogy, of which ‘Learn To Let Go’ is the climactic conclusion. ‘Praying’ serves as a beginning, dealing with the ugliness of Kesha’s horrendous ordeal at the hands of Dr. Luke, who she claims abused her over a period of years. The track was Kesha’s first gasp of air since the lawsuit and the first time she was able to give a public voice to her feelings. This was followed by the hedonistic ‘Woman’, a defiant and self-affirming track that shifted the narrative, Kesha refusing to play the victim and instead reasserting her own identity. In this second act, Kesha rises from the ashes, redefining the story as well as her role in it. Finally, on ‘Learn To Let Go’, Kesha finds release. Though she cannot undo what has happened to her, she has found a way to be liberated from it, realising that it doesn’t define who she is. It’s a fitting finale for a story centred on pain and, ultimately, freedom.
It’s a pity that Kesha’s recent releases are listened to and reviewed through the prism of the Dr. Luke lawsuit, however it’s undeniable that a base knowledge of it allows for a more informed listen of Kesha’s work. While ‘Learn To Let Go’ doesn’t address the case in explicit terms, its inspiration is nonetheless clear. There is surely no silver lining to what Kesha has had to endure, but let’s take solace in the fact that through her music, she appears to have found some catharsis. ‘Learn To Let Go’ is just the latest instalment in Kesha’s liberation narrative, more than enough to make us hungry for an album that finally looks set to transform unbearable suffering into art.