Elle King is making her official introduction to country fans with her debut country album, Come Get Your Wife, released on Friday, Jan. 27. Although the project marks her first full album in the genre, the relative country newcomer sounds perfectly at home singing songs that showcase her unique style.
King first made her mark in music in the pop and rock realm with hits such as "Ex's and Oh's" and "America's Sweetheart," but even in those early, non-country days, her banjo was always at her side, as if waiting for its chance to take center stage. Now, the full power of her country sensibilities gets its time to shine on the new project.
King isn't just another artist transitioning to country from an outside genre. When listening to Come Get Your Wife, one gets a feeling of authenticity -- that she not only loves the music, but she's lived it. The entirety of the album features traditional country sounds, such as banjo, steel guitar and fiddle, which were inspired directly from the music she listened to while growing up in the rural Ohio town of Jackson. It is this experience from her youth that gives her the background needed to make real country music that country fans believe.
Country and bluegrass influences seep through many of the tracks on the record, but King's take on the genre also features nods to soul and gospel music. The 33-year-old singer also hasn't abandoned her rock 'n roll music past. She's still the same rebel-eyed rocker early fans came to love, and that unbridled attitude and musical style comes through on many of the tracks -- now with a country twist.
Not only does King offer a gritty new take on modern country music, but she's a relatable artist fans can rally behind, and Come Get Your Wife characterizes her as such. She's edgy, a bit wild, funny and a loving mother with a vulnerable side. She's country music's new best friend.
Below is a track-by-track guide of King's new album, Come Get Your Wife, a project that leaves no question about where the singer comes from, where she's going and the kind of artist she aims to be in country music.
It's only fitting that the album introducing Elle King to the country world should begin with a track about a place close to her heart: Ohio. This song provides a strong visual of the rural town where she spent much of her youth -- a place with rolling hills, "barefoot babies" and Friday nights consisting of "Coors in the cooler and a few fireflies." Kings's banjo takes the spotlight throughout the song, with soft electric guitars and steel guitar joining in, creating a pleasing mix. The song captures the idyllic memories of her childhood home as she repeatedly sings out the main refrain, "Ohio," until the end. Listen here.
"Before You Met Me"
After King's personal introductory tune, "Before You Met Me" serves to up the ante a bit. This song offers a look into the rebellious side of King, but in this tune, she's looking back on her wild days before she settled down with a partner. She decries her old self as a "train wreck, hot mess" and "anything but holy," and she believes she and her current love would have never worked back then. With strong electric guitars and country elements, this song showcases how a person can grow while still appreciating who they used to be. Listen here.
More facets of King's personality and artistry come to the surface as Come Get Your Wife continues, and in "Try Jesus," her humor and clever songwriting is on full display. King sings from the perspective of a woman unlucky in love, and after multiple failed relationships, she considers that it's possibly time to "try Jesus" instead of men. The song isn't an emotional coming-to-faith story, but rather a lighthearted last ditch effort at happiness infused with irreverent lines like "A-freakin'-men." The song is an undeniable toe-tapper with country, rock and gospel influences. Listen here.
"Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)" feat. Miranda Lambert
After three brand new songs, fans are met with familiarity on the album's fourth track, "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)" featuring Miranda Lambert. Released in February 2021, this song officially put King on the map in country music and established her as a serious artist in the genre. It also introduced King's one-of-a-kind rocker country style with thumping drums in the verses that transition to driving guitar and banjo instrumentation in the chorus. Listen here.
While there are plenty more upbeat songs to come on the album, King slows it down and shows a different side to herself with the fifth track, "Lucky." In this tune, King sings of being "broken," "beat down," and experiencing hardships in her past. Despite all that, however, she got "lucky" with the current life she has. The song is about more than simply being lucky in life, though. King shares a one-year-old son named Lucky with her fiancé Dan Tooker, and the song shares a deeper meaning about her life with her son. The track stands out as a vulnerable moment on the record. Listen here.
"Worth a Shot" feat. Dierks Bentley
King struts her country cred and enlists a fellow artist yet again on track number six, "Worth a Shot." In this mid tempo tune, Dierks Bentley joins King as they portray a couple whose relationship is on the decline. The two aren't giving up quite yet, though, and they conclude that their love is "worth a shot"... of some strong liquor, that is. This tune is likely one of the most mainstream on the album, but it still features King's unique flair as well as the country and bluegrass influences both King and Bentley stand behind in their music. Listen here.
After the soft "Lucky" and mid tempo "Worth a Shot," King wastes no time getting back to her rocker ways with track number seven, "Tulsa." This tune unleashes the unabashedly wild King that her fans love. In the song, King sings from the perspective of a woman whose partner has not been faithful, and she says what every betrayed woman wants to say. The song also features a fun play on words, as the hook is "He went back to Tulsa" ("if you spell it back to front you gonna know what I mean.") Not only does King obliterate whoever hurt her in the lyrics, she brings along Ashley McBryde to help finish the job. Listen here.
King follows "Tulsa" with a song that is a true representative of her bluegrass, country influences. "Crawlin' Mood" begins with a dobro, banjo and fiddle intro worthy of Nashville's legendary bluegrass venue, The Station Inn. Bass and light percussion then join as King begins singing, offering a "newgrass" sound rarely heard on country radio today. The song showcases a charming stubbornness, as Kings sings from the perspective of someone who did her partner wrong in a relationship, but she's unwilling to bend to make it right. Listen here.
Multiple songs on Come Get Your Wife showcase King's rebellious, edgy personality, and on "Bonafide," she not only accepts these traits about herself, but she pokes fun at them. In the tune, which features many clever lyrical gems, King describes herself as a "blonde-haired, nut case, freakshow-certified damn maniac," among other things. She continues this self-deprecating humor throughout the song using other comparisons, and she eventually concludes that she's "crazy bonafide." The song is one of the most traditionally country on the album, featuring acoustic guitar, steel guitar, fiddle and other elements throughout. Listen here.
"Blackout" leans into King's rock sensibilities more than other songs on the project with driving banjo picking and high-powered drums and guitars, but it surely still falls comfortably within the country category. At first listen, the song and the "blacked out" hook may disguise itself as a party tune, but it instead serves as a love-gone-wrong story. Listen here.
King again taps into small town storytelling in track 11, "Out Yonder." The song is all about the rumor mills that often exist rural small towns, and King ponders about who could be the subject of the town's gossip. Overall, though, the song finds King denouncing the "grapevine," saying that you "Gotta rip it right up at the roots," as she suggests that people simply leave their drama "out yonder." Listen here.
King confirms her initiation into country music and gives credits to the country roots/Americana movement with a cover of "Jersey Giant," written by acclaimed artist Tyler Childers. This song showcases more of King's bluegrass style and her love for nostalgic songs about the past and home. Her voice stays soft for the entirety of the tune, as she seems to be looking back with emotion on days gone by. Listen here.
"Love Go By"
King opened Come Get Your Wife with a love letter to her Ohio home, and she wraps it up with a letter to an actual love in "Love Go By." This song features a soul and gospel-influenced jam as King reassures a partner that the two of them are made for one another. The track is mellow and optimistic, and King's scratchy voice shines while a mix of instruments takes listeners on a pleasant journey through to the end of the record. Listen here.
READ MORE: 8 Elle King Songs That Prove the Country-Rocker is a True Original
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