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list of Gag Order's appearances on publications' year-end albums of the year

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bonus: Gag Order on Metacritic (75)





Kesha, ‘Gag Order’

On her fifth LP, Kesha is tired, angry, and vicious. She unspools her feelings as she can across 13 scorched-Earth tracks that present an artist pulling herself back up from the brink of madness. Working with producer Rick Rubin, she has found a psychedelic middle ground between the sleazy synths of her 2012 breakthrough, Warrior, and the rootsy Southern rock of 2017’s Rainbow and 2020’s High Road. She may never find the rainbow she once sang about, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t radically advocating for her own happy ending. The album even ends with “Happy,” a weary but lovely ballad dedicated to life not turning out the way you hope. As she sings on that song, she’s gotta laugh so she doesn’t die. Even that is its own kind of victory. —B.S.




16. Kesha
Gag Order
Her legal wrangles with Dr Luke have long been the chief talking point about Kesha’s career. This inventive alt-pop proposed another narrative.




#14: Kesha: "Gag Order"
A lot of pop stars with lasting legacies have the benefit of narrative. At times, it's a somewhat relatable narrative, like how Taylor Swift re-recording her albums to free them from a bad business arrangement. Other times, the narrative turns ugly, and that's how Kesha has transitioned from fun-loving party-pop girl to a serious artist. Her multiple court proceedings with former producer Dr. Luke prevented her from releasing music for years, and even when she did (as on 2017's stunning "Rainbow"), it was still via Luke's record label. "Gag Order", thus, arrives in a tricky place. She needs to record an album to fulfill her contract with Luke, but artists have been taken to court for releasing deliberately uncommercial music. Thus, "Gag Order", co-written and produced by Kesha and Rick Rubin, is as dark and brooding as it gets. Explicitly referencing her legal troubles and traumatic few years, it's as visceral as a pop record can get, eschewing her Top 40 keyboard fluff for arrangements that are minimal, striking, and impactful. "Eat the Acid" was a devastating lead single, but tracks like the lightly funky "The Drama" show she's still able to create fun beats with deeply introspective lyrics ("A Friday night in, I'll gеt too high and / Keep checkin' my pulse, am I dead yеt? / All I need is anything / To distract me from this empty feeling"). It didn't fare well on the charts, but it may very well go down as one of the decade's most bracing and compelling pop music documents. Once she's free from Luke's label, we can only imagine what she'll be capable of.


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the song Eat The Acid appeared in the "just missed the main list" list from LA Times



and Gag Order is in whatever this list is


“Gag Order” — Kesha :

Ethan Lambert: Likely the most overlooked album of the year is Kesha’s experimental opus “Gag Order.” Your average music listener may not know she released a new album this year, which is a shame as this is one of the most ambitious albums of the year and Kesha’s most inventive yet. With esteemed producer Rick Rubin as a collaborator on the record, Kesha’s fifth studio album is sonically cohesive and deeply emotional as she continues to flesh out her impeccable talents as a singer and a songwriter.

“Eat the Acid” is haunting and cathartic, and probably the best song she has ever made. The track’s ominous, uncanny organ chords sound like nothing else in contemporary music, they pack such an emotional punch that you can feel all of Kesha’s pain and introspection from the first few seconds of the song. Likewise, Kesha’s vulnerable vocal performance at the track’s beginning is just as impactful. As the song hits its climax a few minutes in, the track becomes transcendental as a heavenly mellotron chord progression comes in, which is later paired with Kesha’s vocals, which are methodically modified with a vocoder — it is a perfect culmination of all the emotion displayed on the track, it is quite literally musical production at its very best.

Over a decade after her commercial peak, the risks Kesha is taking are panning out perfectly. As she continues to break new ground musically, she has proved to be one of the greatest talents of her generation.

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16. Kesha, Gag Order
Gag Order is, in form and content, a total rebuke of the party-girl image that Kesha presented on albums like Cannibal, and yet it’s somehow even freakier. Its disarming opening tracks, the menacing yet briefly celestial “Something to Believe In” and the dark-wave minimalist “Eat the Acid,” wouldn’t feel out of place on, say, an Anna Meredith album. Save for the vintage soul-sampling “Only Love Can Save Us Now” and the gaudy, Auto-Tune-steeped “Peace & Quiet,” the majority of the material here is more art-pop than anything Kesha has released to date. The album manages to articulate a working thesis for Kesha’s artistry that exists independently from the apparatus of purely commercial exhibitionism. Attard


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bonus: Gag Order on Metacritic (75) https://www.metacritic.com/music/gag-order/kesha/critic-reviews   https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/best-albums-2023-1234879538/kesha-ga

It is the important album

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