The project marks the singer’s first full-length release since she launched her ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke, whom she accused of sexual assault and abuse in 2014. As her case against the producer became increasingly messy, many people assumed Kesha’s third studio album would never happen, as Dr. Luke was reportedly preventing her from releasing new music.
Thankfully for fans, Kesha refused to give up and eventually reached a deal with Sony. In 2016, it was announced she was working on the follow-up to 2012’s Warrior; however, it was clear she would shelve her signature club anthems in favor of a stripped-down sound. The 14-track album was expected to be a mix of country and classic rock, as she said artists like Iggy Pop, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, and Dolly Parton were her inspirations. The last of these is actually one of the few guest appearances on Rainbow, along with Eagles of Death Metal and the Dap-Kings.
You can listen to Rainbow now on Apple Music or purchase it on iTunes. You can also stream it below via Spotify.
Hours before the album dropped, CBS in the Morning shared a video in which Kesha reads her letter to her 18-year-old self.
"Dear Kesha, at this very moment, you may be wondering if it was a really good idea to drop out of high school," Kesha read. "I moved to L.A. with nothing but your grandfather's Lincoln town car. I got good news and I got bad news. I know you're a tad impatient so I'll start with good news...you made it. I thank God that the best plan B we ever came up with was to be a singer.
"[…] The bad news is you nearly killed yourself on the road to success, fueled by fear of failure, crippling anxiety and insecurity,” she said. "You will become severely bulimic and anorexic. The worse your disease gets, the more you'll get praised for it from people in your industry and this will really mess with your head. But when you're trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation, it's never going to be good enough, no matter what you do."
Kesha continued the letter with some advice. She urged her young self to stay away from the comments section, as "it’s a breeding ground for negativity and hate." Though the singer admitted there will be plenty of obstacles to come, she told herself to note give up hope.
"One day, you're going to write a song called 'Rainbow' and you're going to be very proud of it," she said. "Because there is light and beauty after the storm, no matter how hard things get. You are going to write this song so you remember to make it through. You are going to remind yourself to love yourself and if you have truth in your heart, there will always be a rainbow at the end of the storm."