Review: Elle King Jumps Into Country Headfirst With ‘Come Get Your Wife’

Elle King
Come Get Your Wife
(Sony Music)
4.5 out of 5 stars

Videos by American Songwriter

At the album release event for Elle King’s Come Get Your Wife, Dierks Bentley remarked that “we need more characters in Nashville. Like Dolly. Like Loretta.” Luckily, his idea for the next generation’s answer to such artists was standing right next to him: Elle King. 

The rockstar turned country maven is certainly a character. The 30-or-so-minute performance was a masterclass on how to be authentic to oneself. It seems all the No. 1s in the world wouldn’t change Elle King. She didn’t sacrifice a single opportunity for an expletive, a chiding remark to her collaborators, or a self-deprecating joke. It was all in good fun for King, who was clearly having a blast getting ready to launch this project into the world.

Moreover, like Dolly and Loretta, there is no mistaking King when she comes through the speakers. Her unique rasp is largely unheard of in the country space these days. She allows her rock roots to peek through while she forays into a new genre with some heavyweights in her corner: Bentley, Miranda Lambert, and Tyler Childers. 

When King’s name gets brought into the conversation at events like this, one thing becomes very clear: she is an artist that Nashville is in need of and they are ready to accept her with open arms.

The industry and her peers have already heralded Come Get Your Wife and after the global release on January 27, we’re certain the rest of the world will be singing her praises as well. But before you get to dive into the record, it’s our turn to rave about King and all the countryfied goodness on Come Get Your Wife

The curtain into King’s world opens up with the scene-setting “Ohio.” Her family ties were a major inspiration while making this record. Reared in the titular state—between Wellston and Columbus – King tees up what is in store on the record with a transporting banjo riff fit that proves country is ingrained deep within her.

I wanna go back and I might as well / But every time I leave man, it hurts like hell / I hate to see them barefoot babies wave goodbye, she draws out in the second verse. If you had any qualms about King making the move to Nashville, they will be dispelled “quick, fast and in a hurry” by the time “Ohio” comes to a close.

Now that you’re on board with King’s new identity, you get to be treated to her gorgeously candid “Before You Met Me.” She assures her partner that their love came right on time in the track: Looking at the old me / Anything but holy / Glad you didn’t know / Before you met me. It’s a song in the spirit of Miranda Lambert or Maren Morris—one that doesn’t shy away from exposing her own faults all while delivering a rough-and-tumble country song. It’s a freeing listen. After, you’ll feel safe to make your own mistakes while on the path to self-discovery.

Later on the record, she revels in her success on “Lucky.” King gave birth to a son (also named Lucky) in September of 2021. She credits her newfound motherhood as having “softened” her. Though her edge is still very much present and accounted for, this song is one of the most vulnerable on the record. By the way, she was overcome with emotion while performing this track at the album release event, it’s clear she would second the motion.

She has a number of collaborations on this record. She joins forces with Bentley on the classic country duet “Worth a Shot” and shuts down the bar with Lambert on the No. 1 hit “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).” Both are testaments to how effortlessly King fits in with the rest of the country crowd.

The previously released single “Tulsa” is an undisputed standout from the record. It’s carefree, a little pointed, and a whole lotta fun. It’s a witty country song of the highest degree. It’s already become a staple in our 2023 playlist and it should be added to yours as well.

She wraps up her story with “Love Go By.” The chorus is a certified earworm as she belts out lines about dealing with the uglier parts of relationships: Make me wanna cry sometimes / Make me wanna die sometimes / I won’t let your love go by / Even though it hurts sometimes. It’s a triumphant closer to a consistently great album. Each of the 12 tracks shines in its own way and reveals a tantamount piece of the Elle King puzzle.

Though she has been in the country space for a few years now, King firmly stakes her claim with Come Get Your Wife with a sense of refreshing individualism. As Bentley remarked, country needs more characters and King is primed and ready to fill that hole.

Elle King Photo by Matthew Berinato/ Press on Publicity

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