WonkeyDude98's Formal Rage: Ex's and Oh's

I have been meaning to do this for a while, and after a request from Swellow (yes I take requests), I decided to bring the task onto myself. This is going to probably be my most difficult rage yet.

There's a minor problem in the vocals, it seems like Elle King is more earnest than she can afford. At least Andy Grammer knew how to control his energy.

So, there's really only one huge flaw in Ex's and Oh's which brings it down: the lyrics. Let's do this. "Had me a boy/Turned him into a man/Showed him all the things that he didn't understand/Oh-oh, then I let him go". I get the first two bars, but I'm still creeped out by the "boy into man" thing (at least it's not like in Started From The Bottom where it sounds really awkward). "Then I let him go". Oh no, not this again. It's going to be another The Hills, isn't it? We don't need another one, not after my other blog post.

"Now there's one in California/Who's been cursing my name/'Cause I found a better lover in the UK/Hey-hey, till I made my getaway". Fair enough. But shouldn't you just not cheat on him? That just makes Manika look imbecillic (she would be even if this song didn't exist though).

"One two three, they're gonna run back to me/'Cause I'm the best baby that they never gotta keep/One two three they gonna run back to me/Always wanna come, but they never wanna leave". Has it occurred to you that, maybe, just maybe, you inflicted it upon yourself because you have the shallow "love and leave" personality? Hmm...yes! Maybe if you didn't have that then this wouldn't be an issue, King!

"Ex's and the oh-oh-oh's/They haunt me like gho-o-osts/They want me to make 'em a-a-all/They won't let go (for the second and final repeats, x2)". Ex's and oh's? Hugs and kisses? Idk, that just makes zero sense. They haunt you like ghosts, they won't go away? Oh, BOO-HOO, let's all shed a giant tear for Elle King! Seriously, you're basically going near a fire expecting not to sweat (thanks Lil Wayne).

"I had a summer lover down in New Orleans/Kept him warm in the winter/Left him frozen in the sprin/My, my, how the seasons go by". What? Wait, is that supposed to be an uncomfortable metaphor? Ugh.

"I get high, and I love to get low/So the hearts keep breaking/And the heads just roll/You know that's how the story goes". I get high? Seriously, does every song have to be about drinking? Why would there be heartbreak if you get low? Isn't that what the men want?

"One, two, three, they gonna run back to me/Climbing over mountains and a-sailing over seas/One, two, three, they gonna run back to me/They always wanna come, but they never wanna leave". Is that supposed to be a metaphor of how badly they want you? Or you finding new people and causing trouble for yourself? Why? If you do, don't complain about it.

The video is atrocious, seeing men getting treated poorly similarly to how women are treated in music videos typically, and no feminists are complaining.

Yeah, I have to give this a 0 out of 5 based on lyrics, concept, and tone alone, no good production will save it. It's basically The Hills if it had decent production. And you never want your song compared to The Hills.


Good one. - Swellow

Thanks, thanks for the request. - WonkeyDude98

Hey, WonkeyDude98, I realized that my very first VC Rages episode for All About That Bass was kinda terrible. What if you give it a shot and make a better version? - visitor

No problem! - WonkeyDude98

I personally LOVE the song (it's currently in the Top 5 for my favorite songs of 2015) but I do see what you're saying...the lyrics don't make total sense. But for me, they don't really have to, the instrumental and vocal is good enough to outweigh lyrical flaws for me. I think one possible misconception you have is that the lyrics are totally autobiographical. They might be, but I don't think so.
I think she's more or less telling a story about an archetype-character who can't finish one thing before she's onto the next.
Where King begins to infuse what I interpret as personal experiences, is the part where she sings "they always wanna come (or "cum") but they never wanna leave" meaning that she just wants to hook up and not be committed. In her mind, she can't understand why her "Ex's" don't get that. - theOpinionatedOne

I accidentally hit "Post" before I was done with the last comment. CONTINUING...

On a broader term, I think she's making an attempt at a feminist sexual liberation anthem in the vein of someone like Peaches, Christina Aguilera ("Can't Hold Us Down", "Get Mine, Get Yours", "Candyman", "Keeps Gettin' Better", the Bionic album, "Your Body") and Beyoncé on her self-titled album.
King's commentary on the subject of female sexuality is one that contradicts the perception of women as being clingy and insecure, and that it's not only men who want casual sex without commitment. The frustration factor comes from the fact that after they've "done the deed" and she's ready to move on like she thought he understood but he's saying "Oh..." when this wasn't meant to be long-term...he was never supposed to be an "Ex" (hence the title).
As for the video... it was meant to be a parody of the way women are regarded as "objects" in music videos (remember "Blurred Lines", remember any song played in a strip club EVER...). She just flipped the switch on that and the men become the objects. And feminists would praise it for turning the tables and seeing a woman as the dominant and the men as the submissive.

Overall, I liked what you had to say and encourage you to keep doing it. You can only get better as you do more of them. What you're doing is pretty much what I came onto this website for only I just never bothered to make a whole post of mine. I can see scrolling through your comments that you are ABSOLUTELY an insightful writer with great language and diction. Take my comments here as a form of constructive criticism. I know I may seem tough (and it's partially because I really really like the song) but it's to make you think a little deeper. I'm done being a professor now! - theOpinionatedOne

Sorry for the late reply, but this was great. I just didn't understand why King would love-and-leave when that's causing her issues. This is just an awesome comment.

I also don't like objectifying music videos in general. - WonkeyDude98

"One two three, they're gonna run back to me/'Cause I'm the best baby that they never gotta keep"
No, I think it should say "They will go out with me again, because I am better than anyone else."
Cause that's what it means. - Skullkid755

Ah. - WonkeyDude98

Yep, unfunny joke I regret making. No one will forgive me for that joke.

It's hard being a teenage leprechaun, even my cyclops ex-girlfriend thinks so. - Skullkid755

Yes, you read that right. - Skullkid755

Remind me to rewrite this. - WonkeyDude98


For the most part, I think this could've had the potential to work as a parody like Taylor Swift's Blank Space did, but everything just feels overdone from the boy-to-man lyric to the lyric about moving to California. Also, I have yet to see a worst songs list posted on YouTube that has this song in it. - visitor