It’s rare to find an artist who’s able to capture contemporary pop with a very classic rock/bluesy background, but Elle King hits the nail on the head with her new album, Love Stuff. Her soulful voice and bluesy demeanor completely capture the messages her lyrics send. From front to back, her album is an experience that shouldn’t be passed up.
The captivating single “Ex’s & Oh’s” is a perfect preview into the album’s overall outlook. The upbeat style, paired with some intense guitars and a tempo that’s easy to clap along and dance to will make you want a lot more. Lyrically, the song reminds you of something that Janis Joplin would have rocked back in the day.
“America’s Sweetheart” is another gem off the album. It’s got a full pop country feel, and although it seems to be a lovey song, the lyrics quickly remind you just how rock’n’roll Ms. King is. With the repetition of “What do you want from me; I’m not America’s Sweetheart” it’s hard not to see this as the next “Blank Space” for 2015. The powerful message behind it, is only topped by the strong vocals that make this album so addicting.
Another standout song is “Make You Smile.” It’s a bit of an easier going song that breaks up all the intensity of the album to give it a bit of a more laid back feel. With the simple guitar and light lyrics, it transitions perfectly into the final song “See You Again” which is also a more chilled out ballad. Elle’s voice never loses it’s sultry feel, and continues to entice you throughout the slowed down tunes.
The most haunting, and my personal favorite, song on the album is “Under the Influence.” Lyrically, it’s a perfect description of what is so bad for you, but the real kicker is the slowed down vocals throughout the pre-chorus and chorus. While the verses are a bit more upbeat, the chorus allows you to feel the music and lyrics intertwining almost seductively.
All in all, the album is a strong debut for a full-length. Elle King has an amazing voice with a classic rock feel that hasn’t been seen in a long time.
(by Shelby Chargin)