That's not even a lie, man.") Kesha strolls into the control room and listens to her voice glide over a backing track recorded earlier by Elvis Costello's band the Imposters, with Wayne Kramer of the MC5 on guitar.Anticipating this collaboration the other night, Kesha was "playing MC5 records and crying," she says."' Kick Out the Jams' is one of the greatest songs. " It would be foolish to underestimate Kesha's music geekery, which in her teenage years extended to stuff as obscure as Captain Beefheart's Safe as Milk: "I figured that, if anything, she'd try to be the next PJ Harvey or something," says Hughes. Luke at age 18, plunging into the great American pop machinery of the past decade. " she asks, wondering what studio magic might be at work. "It sounds like you're live with that band," says Willner, employing a bedside manner honed over decades. She raises an admonishing finger, eyes narrowed: "Do not even touch a button of Auto-Tune!The first time I heard that song, I went down a rabbit hole, with MC5 and then Iggy Pop. As her version of "Children of the Revolution" plays on, Kesha wrinkles her freckled, gold-ring-adorned nose in suspicion. " "We wouldn't even know how to use it," Willner replies. An hour later, she gets to hear a near-final version of the song, comped from several of her takes.I feel like I'm being seen for what I actually am, and people are OK with it." The gut excavation resulted in the eclectic Rainbow, her long-delayed third album, which turned out to be one of this year's best – raw, emotionally complex, a total surprise.If the old Kesha hits, for all their fun, had a hint of the robotic, this untamed music could be heard as a Westworld-style rebellion.
A Nashville friend who guides her through "yoga and chanting and stuff," advising her on mantras – "hippie shit" – told her that "we all want to be seen," a piece of wisdom that resonated. " The tall woman in the vintage Stones T-shirt isn't happy with her scream.She's standing in a vocal booth, sweating a bit."I've been through a lot," she says, "and a lot we can't talk about." She has decided not to say a further word about her war with her former producer, Dr.Luke, to not even utter his name in our time together.
"Y'know, it's not a motion for anyone to suck my dick," she says unconvincingly, and giggles.