It’s unfortunate how persistently underrated Kesha has been since her first album back in 2008. While Kesha has managed to be a dance hall favorite from the start, the type of pop music she has made has kept her from the sort of critical appeal that Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift have enjoyed. Criticisms of her vocal talent and songwriting ability are common as are more rude comments about her intelligence and sense of dress.
“Stronger” with Dutch DJ Sam Feldt feels like a perfect balance between the high-energy pop anthems that Kesha used to release with regularity as well as the brutally honest and fortifying music that she has been creating as of late. It’s a club song, no doubt about it, but if there is anyone who has firsthand experience with growing and maintaining inner strength it is Kesha. The video accompanying the single shows Kesha gearing up for a boxing match, stark black locks and wicked looking corsets creating a heady image of feminine power.
After speaking out against the abuse and she endured at the hands of her former producer Dr Luke, Kesha has not shied away from using her voice to speak out about sexism and trauma and has poured her feelings on both subjects into her most recent music. She still makes pop music and much of it is still dance friendly but now it is littered with nuance and pathos. Kesha has an absolutely stunning voice and she isn’t afraid to use it anymore. In fact, she doesn’t seem to be afraid of much anymore.
Kesha isn’t the first of Dr Luke’s former artists to speak out about his abuse, and it is both frustrating and unsurprising that he hasn’t suffered any real consequences from his actions. But both the single and the video for “Stronger” tell us that Kesha isn’t even close to being finished with her fight.