Kesha Rainbow & The Cribs 24/7 Rock Star Shit – New Music Spotlight for the Week
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
A rainbow is a beautiful trick of the light that arises after a thunderstorm, a fact that is not lost on Kesha, who experienced more than her share of tumult after her second album, 2012’s Warrior. Two years after its release, the singer/songwriter filed a lawsuit against her producer and collaborator Dr. Luke, alleging emotional and sexual abuse, and he returned the volley with countersuits. Kesha’s career crawled to a halt during the ensuing legal battles, and while they had not been resolved by the time she released Rainbow in August of 2017, the involved parties reached a détente to allow the album’s appearance. Given how all her problems were laid bare in public, it’s no surprise that Kesha opens Rainbow by singing “Don’t let the bastards get you down/Don’t let the a******* wear you out,” a none-too-subtle allusion to her trials and tribulations. It’s a theme that she returns to throughout Rainbow, framing it as a lament, an anthem of defiance and ultimately inspiration. As she sings on “Learn to Let Go” — a song whose title is key to the whole record — “the past can’t haunt me if I don’t let it,” and if that lyric smacks of self-help, it’s also true Kesha doesn’t seem haunted by days gone by on Rainbow. Read the full review here.
The Cribs: 24/7 Rock Star Shit
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
Recorded in five days but years in the making, 24-7 Rock Star Shit is the Cribs’ raw response to 2015’s poppy, Ric Ocasek-produced For All My Sisters. To make the album, the band reunited with Steve Albini in November 2016 to revisit a batch of songs they recorded during the sessions for 2012’s In the Belly of the Brazen Bull. Albini was a good choice for the kind of album the Cribs wanted to make; if Ocasek helped them channel their inner Weezer, then there’s more than a hint of Nirvana to their reunion with the Electrical Audio engineer, particularly in the way the big choruses and guitars kick in on songs like “Broken Arrow” and “Rainbow Ridge” (and when it comes to ironic titles, 24-7 Rock Star Shit rivals “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter”). Like Weezer and Nirvana, the Cribs’ blend of melody and aggression is more interesting than either part on its own, and 24-7 Rock Star Shit pairs the energy of their early days with the discipline that comes from years of being in a band. Nevertheless, emotion triumphs over craft, from the sound of squalling songs like “Give Good Time” and “Year of Hate” — which borders on emo — to the direct lyrics of “Partisan,” where a wailed “Goddamn!” is a more eloquent chorus than something wordier would’ve been. Read the full review here.