Music Mondays (7-17-17): Kesha’s “Praying”

This is Music Mondays, a weekly music column. This week, it’s a new single definitely worth a recommendation.

Kesha, “Praying

Praying
Image via Genius

“Praying” gave me goosebumps. A Kesha song gave me goosebumps.

Don’t get me wrong. I have always loved Kesha’s goofy party songs. But she’s the singer that kicked off her first big hit by saying she brushed her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniels. Or the singer who wrote a song with the hook of “D-I-N-O-S-A-U-R a dinosaur” (you are a dinosaur, get it?).

“Praying”, on the other hand, is an absolutely riveting ballad. Boasting a powerful bass drum, beautiful strings, and (probably) Kesha’s best vocal performance to date, this song is a triumph.

“Praying” deals with someone who has put Kesha “through hell”, but she hopes they can get better. It’s difficult not to associate this song with Kesha’s legal and personal battles with producer Dr. Luke. Regardless of whether you are familiar with this story (#IStandWithKesha), “Praying” is immediately striking because of how personal it feels. This isn’t an “especially for Kesha” compliment. “Praying” is just an amazing song.

I love the slow build of the track. By the time the song has transitioned from a slow, piano ballad to a rollicking, soul-shaking anthem, I was completely enthralled.

In terms of the songwriting, Kesha shows true maturity on “Praying”. She has fire on this song, but she isn’t angry (which would be completely understandable).

My favorite moment on this song is the line “I’m proud of who I am”. I get chills every time. With a song that is so wholly personal, this line shines as Kesha’s flag of victory over whatever has or will come her way. She is proud of how she has emerged from this struggle. “I can thank you for how strong I have become”, she says.

This song was an immediate addition to my “favorite singles of 2017” list, and I urge everyone to give it a listen.

Kesha’s forthcoming album “Rainbow” will release on August 11, 2017.

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