Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s

The punctuation… my eyes….


Thomas Inskeep: “Ex’s & Oh’s” thinks it’s a rootsy take on Adele, when really it’s just a Maria McKee b-side left out in the sun too long.

Alfred Soto: A strong solo and a galloping beat help, and I enjoy the insouciant vocal and lyrics, but the arrangement sounds like it’s covered in mothballs and fake snow. 

Iain Mew: Some of the words border on being as clumsy as that punctuation, but it’s fun and well executed enough to blast on through anyway. The underlying idea at least is a good one, the guitars’ crunch is satisfying, and Elle King brings both power and certainty on where and when to use it.

Anthony Easton: Passable, in that hyper fashionable burlesque remix kind of way, bubbly in the right places, and too late in the fall to be sufficiently summery. 

Katherine St Asaph: Trying for that Black Keys cred, Elle King sings like she’s being paid by the vocal node, over a premise shaped like cleverness without actually being clever. It could be worse. It could be a Khia cover.

Micha Cavaseno: “Ex’s & Oh’s” on paper seems to be the most irritating kind of song; a Brill Building-throwback feel caked in Link Wray fuzz and soaked in a Brenda Lee rasp, but aimed for the current crowd of Trainorville nostalgia. But whereas the retro-stylings beyond Elle King’s realm often feel like garish costuming, she doesn’t lean on the picket fence to awkward angles to poke you in the eye. Her sass and stoicism give it just enough presence that any cartoon capers would be unnecessary.

Jer Fairall: Makin’ copies of Amy Winehouse.

Rebecca A. Gowns: Cute and sassy, with a “boots are made for walking” kinda beat. I love this kind of voice, too; like E.G. Daly’s, it’s sugar and spice, slightly raspy but also syrupy. Pour it all over a song and I’m there.

Ramzi Awn: With a name like Elle King, it’s gotta be good. Or not. King sings like the lovechild of Pink and Adele, both strong performers with the ability to either destroy you or leave you emotionally nonplussed. You decide. 

Brad Shoup: I just generally can’t fuck with this rockabilly-inflected retro-pop shit — the form and content of “I’m the best baby” screws into my pores. Thank goodness for the chorus, where King keeps her syllables aloft and belts to the lights. It’s a lesson the Black Keys learned on beatalike “Gold on the Ceiling” — don’t be coy, don’t be gross, just draw those notes out.

Scott Mildenhall: There’s something so glam about this that it’s a shame it’s so intent on signifying Real. It’s like a thematically flipped version of “I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)”. King not only makes the exes the ones running back, but more importantly, brazenly defies that song’s closing warning not to play the guitar. Ultimately it sounds as if her favourite version of “Personal Jesus” was by Johnny Cash and, lamentably, that is her hypothetical choice.

Reader average: [6.57] (7 votes)

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2 Responses to “Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s”

  1. the first time i heard this was in the shower and tbh it sounds 1000 times better through a layer of static

  2. The video is particularly impressive for the art direction around 2:03