Kesha’s “Praying” Song Review

Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and I am feeling many things right now.  Over the past few days, many things have happened in the world of music.  I am disappointed that the XXL 2017 Freshman Cyphers did not come out yet because I wanted to do a review on each one of the artists on the list (based on their actually music, their freestyles, and their cypher verses) but there was a preview on YouTube released recently that said they would be out next week, so expect that soon.  Secondly, JAY Z released his new album 4:44 on iTunes, which was originally just a Tidal exclusive, so I bought that and am planning to do a review on it, so expect that in the future as well.

However, I think what I was most blindsided by was that Kesha released a new song.  Yes, Kesha.  The girl who made party songs for the late 2000s/early 2010s and couldn’t keep her hand off the autotune button has come back after a nearly 5 year hiatus (due to legal troubles with Dr. Luke) in the middle of 2017 and released a new song and a pre-order for her new album.  When I first saw that she made a new song, I was flabbergasted.  I had not heard her name in so long and did not expect to hear it again for a while.  But, she made a new song, “Praying“, and proved me wrong.  The most shocking part of all this, though, is the song itself, which I am here to review.

So, a bit of background before we start for those who didn’t care to know what Kesha’s was up to the past 5 years (which I would not have been interested in myself if I did not know what was actually happening), Kesha was accusing Dr. Luke, her producer, of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, and this, of course, went to court.  They joined Sony under Kemosabe Records in 2011, so when the allegations came up, Kesha was barred from making music.  Her contract with the label, though, expired a few months ago, allowing her to make music again, so she made this and has an album coming on the way.  Since lots of music is influenced by the singer’s life, this new song Praying is about Dr. Luke.

When I first listened to this song, the most surprising part was her voice.  When she made shallow party music, she used autotune so much that I’m pretty sure she had an implant in her vocal chords that made her natural voice autotuned.  This song, though proves that theory wrong.  She used her real voice!  And wow, was I stunned!  She actually has a really good voice.  With a trained ear, you can tell there are minute traces of autotune, but its nothing like robo-voice Kesha.  Plus, you can tell she is really using the emotions of her voice.  When the second half of the song comes along, she brings a power to her voice where I feel like she is straining a lot though.  It has power, no doubt, but I can tell that she is really pushing, which lowers the quality of her voice infinitesimally.  I could also do without that long falsetto note between the bridge and the last chorus, but that is just my opinion.

But, enough about her voice.  Let’s go to the first verse:

Well, you almost had me fooled
Told me that I was nothing without you
Oh, but after everything you’ve done
I can thank you for how strong I have become

This is a good start.  It is talking about what (presumably) Dr. Luke has done to her and how she learned from it.  There is something to learn from every experience, and she is telling how this experience shaped a big part of her life.  Also, this is surprisingly personal for a Kesha song!  I was brought aback by the amount of depth this song gave the first time I heard it.

‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is I wish you farewell

The pre-chorus continues the themes of the first verse of how Dr. Luke did terrible things to her, but it gave Kesha more strength and power for herself.

I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’
I hope your soul is changin’, changin’
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin'”

I love this chorus.  It can be agreed on that Dr. Luke did awful things to Kesha.  But, instead of retaliating in the song and just reiterating these ideas, she basically forgives him!  Not only that, she is saying that she hopes he becomes better mentally.  This is a truly powerful chorus.  I feel like I’m saying powerful too much, but that is just a good word to describe this song.  I feel like a lot of the world, including myself, could learn from it.  We should forgive those who wrong us, not try to get back.  I never thought I would be learning valuable lessons from Kesha ever in my life.

You know what else I love about this song?  I love how stylistically it is written.  It is not written to such detail as to where it becomes boring or so much about the legal side that it is hard to relate to, but it is not too vague like Katy Perry’s “Mind Maze” was (which you can see my review of here.  Yes, I’m advertising my own post on another post and I feel kind of sleazy about it, but that review helps my point).  It is perfectly written enough where it can relate on a deep level to both Kesha and anyone listening.  It can be hard to find that balance, but this song has definitely got it.

While there is a second verse, a bridge, and the repetition of the chorus and pre-chorus a couple more times, I think I’ve said all my points on the lyrics.  I’m not saying that there isn’t much to say about the songs lyrics, that would be completely wrong.  I feel that the rest of the song just stays so on topic that me writing about the other lyrics would be redundant.

Overall, I was left speechless by this song.  Ryan Lewis, who handles the production, did a really good job at making a beat that is both mournful and powerful.  The lyrics are surprisingly deep.  It’s like I’m swimming in an ocean of deepness, and for a pop song by Kesha, that is something I was not expecting.  Her voice was also a sight to behold as well (even though her voice can’t be a “sight to behold” because you can’t see sounds, but let’s not argue over discrepancies).  While my gripes I earlier stated about her vocals still stand, her voice is the best in this song than any other Kesha song I’ve heard, mainly because it is not overblown by autotune.  I’d give this song a 4.5 out of 5.  Do you agree?

Thank you for reading my “Praying” song review.  If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews.  Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments.  Until then, keep listening to good music!  I know I will.

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Kesha’s “Praying” Song Review

  1. Great, insightful review! I just listened to the song for the first time, and what a huge departure from Kesha. Though I loved “Tik Tok”, most of her other songs were pretty mediocre and all sounded the same. Nice to see that she’s capable of so much more, and “Praying” is proof of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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