Elle King shows us some 'Love Stuff' on her Debut Album
Elle King's Love Stuff is exactly what the doctor ordered (on iTunes) to get us out of this post-Valentines February slump. With her signature rock-country-blues-soul style, Elle is able to really showcase her range of talents and be extremely dynamic throughout the tracks. We get a few grungy hits with heavy drums and distorted guitars, followed immediately by a more laid back banjo tune. No matter what the instrument choice, we are able to hear King's distinct voice over all of it. The title itself is very telling of the attitude of the album. Throughout we hear the soulful, gutsy belting of a woman who isn't focusing on romantic love as much as the "stuff" that accompanies love, or more specifically the residual parts that are left behind when love ends. Here are a few tracks we were particularly fond of:
"Ex's & Ohs" sounds like a carnival, and you can see this perfectly represented in the music video, which features the recognizable old-time fair game where one must shoot at moving targets to win. And King comes out with guns blazing. Unabashedly she runs through a list of ex-flings that weren't up to her standards, so she had to let them go. Unfortunately some of these guys just couldn't get the hint and continue to haunt the singer. This heartbreaker anthem is incredibly catchy, with fuzzy riffs and a contagious chorus. Expect to hear this song again and again and again.
"America's Sweetheart" allows King to highlight some of her country influence, fused perfectly with a modern pop feel. It's a message of self-confidence, and refusing to change for anybody. The chorus rings out with "What do you want from me? I'm not America's Sweetheart." King is pointing out that she does not fit into a cookie cutter ideal form that some people may want or expect, however that does not affect her. She's demanding respect and recognition, as well as acceptance. It's always refreshing to hear someone be so confident about their perceived flaws, life really is too short to get caught up in trying to perfect yourself for others.
The final track of the album is titled "See You Again". Here we get a much more subdued, vulnerable version of Miss King. Whereas she spent the majority of the album framing herself as an unrelenting, unapologetic force, this track is much softer, proving that heartbreakers have hearts too. We get a deeper emotional tale of longing, kindly asking a lover to stay for one more day. This song is the quiet hangover the morning after the roller coaster of stomping and whiskey that was the rest of the album. She is reflective, and genuine, angled at the uncertainty of the future, which everyone can relate to on some level.