This Elle King album has been described as her full-blown country record, and while she's already had country radio success with "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)," which features Miranda Lambert, and "Worth a Shot," featuring Dierks Bentley from it, you need only hear the persistent banjo running through "Ohio," the album opener, to know right away this is real country music. And nowhere does this release disappoint along the way.
King sometimes sings white trashy lyrics, yet still comes off more of a lovable hick, rather than a Southern deplorable. She gets right to the common Southern dilemma of God/no God with "Try Jesus," where the Bible belt lifestyle is treated nearly like a last resort. Nothing else has seemed to work up to now, so why not give Jesus a go? The track finds King singing it with a sly sound in her voice, while backed by a gospel choir and colored with Sunday morning organ.
In many cases, these songs find King trying to find true love and happiness, only to end up with romantic losers. However, King drops the caricature role momentarily for "Lucky," which is a lovely, heartfelt song of gratitude. This is the sound and words of the real-life King, the new mom. It even includes a brief snippet of King talking to her young son at the end.
King and Lambert are 'take charge' female artists that are so engaging whenever they're off on a rant. "Tulsa" finds King giving one loser a big dose of what-for. Carrie Underwood also sings her share of revenge songs, but King and Lambert just sound like they're having so much more fun whenever doing so. Banjo returns big time again during "Crawlin' Mood," where King declares, "I ain't in no crawlin' mood." Along with Ashley McBryde and Lambert, King is one country artist that never fails to sound like a real American woman, rather than some flashy Nashville rhinestone cowgirl. She puts plenty of true country lifestyle (and sonic) into her music, which oughta make you wanna come and get this one right away.