Metro Weekly

10 Criminally Underrated Kesha Songs

These Kesha songs deserve to be on repeat. If you don't already know them, take a listen!

Kesha (
Kesha (

Animals, rejoice! Kesha’s new album Gag Order has arrived, and it’s available for everyone to listen to now. This time around, the singer-songwriter has evolved sonically once again, and there isn’t much on this latest LP that reminds the listener of her earliest smashes. Those who love the Grammy nominee don’t mind, as they’re here for whatever she wants to make, and they always have been.

Kesha is best known for many of her dance-pop blockbuster singles, but she’s so much more than the girl who woke up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy. She has a catalog filled with minor hits and overlooked bangers. 

After you stream Gag Order, check out these 10 criminally underrated Kesha songs and keep the party going.

“Boots & Boys”

An album cut from her first full-length, “Boots & Boys” was overshadowed by hits like “Tik Tok,” “Your Love Is My Drug,” and “Take It Off,” which made Kesha a star. While the CD itself does feel dated these days after listening again, some of the tunes are still rather fun. Kesha is at her best when she doesn’t take herself seriously, and a cut all about how she wants nothing but boots and boys is relatable.

“Dirty Love” with Iggy Pop

Like some other pop stars who used electronic dance music to top the charts, Kesha is really a rocker at heart. She makes this clear after her first few collections drop, and it’s unavoidably obvious who she is and what she stands on “Dirty Love.” The cut, taken from her sophomore full-length Warrior, features legendary rock icon Iggy Pop singing the lines:

“Cockroaches do it in garbage cans

Rug merchants do it in Afghanistan

Santorum did it in a V-neck sweater

Pornos produce it, but wild child can do it better”

“Dirty Picture” with Taio Cruz

There was a moment in time when Taio Cruz was a real hitmaker, and though he only managed a handful of memorable smashes, they’re still bangers. He attempted to keep his streak going with “Dirty Picture,” which immediately followed the success of giant wins like “Break Your Heart,” though it wasn’t nearly as huge. Apparently, Cruz wanted Lady Gaga for the cut, but was persuaded to work with Kesha instead – and for that, we’re grateful.

“Fuck Him He’s a DJ”

It’s extremely rare that any song with a word that’s often censored makes it to the charts, but Kesha managed to do just that back when it was even tougher than it is now. “Fuck Him He’s a DJ” debuted and peaked at No. 97 on the Hot 100, barely breaking onto the tally. The track was featured on her remix EP I Am the Dance Commander + I Command You to Dance, and clearly fans of the superstar fell in love with its rock-hard production.

“Learn to Let Go”

“Learn to Let Go” was released as the second promotional single from Kesha’s Rainbow, and it arrived just days before the album dropped in full. The track further showed the public that for the moment, she was moving on from the dance music that had made her a household name in favor of more guitar-powered pop. It’s also another bit of proof that she can write a catchy cut no matter what style she’s working in.

“Raising Hell” with Big Freedia

The lead single from Kesha’s High Road is perhaps her most criminally underrated of all, as somehow it failed to chart entirely. The track was made for radio, it was timely, forward-thinking, and it featured Big Freedia, who also deserves a major hit. “Raising Hell” was somewhat passed over, and its failure to become a charting win may explain why Kesha decided to change directions again and try something new with her album Gag Order.

“Stronger” with Sam Feldt 

Kesha teamed up with Dutch record producer Sam Feldt for this empowering anthem, and the two knocked it out of the park. It’s a shame that more people don’t have this one on rotation, as it’s uplifting without being annoying, which is a tough line to toe for many. The tune didn’t make many waves, but real ones remember it and love “Stronger” to this day.

“This Is Me”

Originally sung by the incredible Keala Settle, “This Is Me” is the standout from the film The Greatest Showman. The track was nominated for an Oscar, and Settle, who sings it in the movie, delivered one of the best Academy Award performances in history when she showcased it during the ceremony. What is often forgotten about the cut is that Kesha sang it for The Greatest Showman: Reimagined, and album full of covers and reworkings. Several of the songs featured on that follow-up release became minor hits in some places, while Kesha’s gritty remake of “This Is Me” didn’t get the attention it deserves. 

“Wherever You Are”

By the time her sophomore album Warrior came out, Kesha was a certified star. She had scored multiple hits from her debut full-length Animal, and its follow-up, the Cannibal EP, showed that she wasn’t just a flash in the pan. While many of the cuts featured on this second project didn’t perform quite as well as their predecessors, it’s still an incredibly solid collection of dance tunes. On Warrior, Kesha goes a bit harder, and the production is top-notch. “Wherever You Are” was never selected as a single, but it’s just as huge today as it was more than a decade ago.

“Woman” with the Dap-Kings Horns

Any song whose chorus begins with the line “I’m a motherfucking woman” is alright with us. The Rainbow single was a bit of a risk, as radio DJs don’t love swearing like that (on pop songs, at least), and it didn’t sound like her older material. Instead of synths and dancefloor rhythms, it was all about the horn section, who are famous in their own right. No matter, “Woman” is still an anthem to many.

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