Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Elle King ft. Miranda Lambert – Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)

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Aaron Bergstrom: Absolutely perfect for what it is: a big dumb pop-country song about drinking that sounds like it’s already had a few; a shout-along party rock anthem that apparently answered every production question with either “more” or “louder” or both; and a duet where the collaborators come off more like co-conspirators and both sound legitimately thrilled to be involved. No notes, wouldn’t change a thing.

Thomas Inskeep: I had no idea I needed a turbo-pop/country mash-up in my life — hell, I don’t even like turbo-pop! And I certainly didn’t expect to hear a banjo as the beat dropped in on this chorus. Lambert’s never sounded quite so unleashed as she does here — her duet with Carrie Underwood, “Somethin’ Bad,” is the closest she’s come — and I never would’ve guessed that King, who I’ve heretofore found to be a middling, slightly blues-inflected alt-pop singer, had this in her. I fear that this will fall in between US radio formats — too country for Adult Top 40, too pop for country — which is a shame, because “Drunk” deserves to be a huge radio smash. And I’ve not even mentioned lyrics like “You love my gin and tonic kisses, ’cause you know they taste so sweet.” How sweet this is, indeed.

Katie Gill: Elle King would have flourished in the 1990s pop-country boom (Miranda Lambert would not have flourished in that boom, but she’s honestly just here to give the song some name value). Songs like “America’s Sweetheart,” “Ex’s and Oh’s,” and this one right here straddle the genre perfectly. And, again, in the 1990s where artists like Shania Twain and Leann Rimes successfully blended and attracted fans from both genres, this piece of countrypop would fit perfectly. It’s got the twang of country but the big anthemic pop chorus. But nobody does countrypop crossovers any more, at least not like the way Elle King is doing it. As it is, despite all of the modern touches, the song feels weirdly dated. Still good. But just bizarrely out of touch with the modern music landscape.

Katherine St Asaph: For all its country-fried crackle, this is clearly a big 2011 pop banger: heroic chorus melody, surging background vocals, and faint death-drive beneath. Elle King sings like she can sandblast away the last decade with sheer vocal gusto, and God bless her for her efforts.

Hazel Southwell: God, sometimes you read a song title and know if they don’t completely fuck this up it’s going to be your jam. This isn’t earth shattering, but it does capture a particular thing, down to making friends with drunk girls in the bathroom and bad choices that, that’s — y’know — a huge mood and it’s kinda nice to have it framed as something other than “lols we are the youth” or whatever. 

Samson Savill de Jong: Apparently the “inspirational pop song” formula is so strong that it can even be applied to a song about getting absolutely trollied on a weekday night. This doesn’t sound fun; this sounds girlboss purposeful. This is mainly a problem with the chorus and bridge — I quite like the verses — but it’s not forceful enough at the chorus to be the manic, on-the-edge fun that the mostly well-written lyrics imply. Aimed for P!nk but ended in beige.

Alfred Soto: It barely gets by thanks to a collective charisma that would set Tennessee on fire, though the volume is deafening enough to have caused my popcorn ceiling to crack. Miranda Lambert has sung variants on this shit many times, while Elle King sings as if she’s never heard anything like it. 

Reader average: [7.66] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Elle King ft. Miranda Lambert – Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”

  1. The grand return of America’s Sweetheart and the woman who is notably NOT America’s Sweetheart is more than welcome. Nashville better not decide to stick with “Settling Down” from Lambert’s last album instead.