Make You Smile
Label: RCA RECORDS LABEL
Featuring at least two songs about going to hell and a ballad called "I Told You I Was Mean," Elle King's debut embraces the bad-girl hard truths her scratchy, whiskeyed voice and buzzing blues-rock best suit. "Last Damn Night" and "Ain't Gonna Drown" slouch and lope; "America's Sweetheart" lays neighborhood-bar heartbreaker boasts atop a track of circling banjo that gradually swells into an arena boom. For the most succinct crash course in King's rueful, winking swagger, check the stomping sexual-history anthem "Ex's and Oh's" ("they always wanna come but they never wanna leave").