King Con is at risk of sounding too samey and by the end of the album it’s as if you’ve crawled off a merry-go-round after eating too much cotton candy
Many will draw comparisons to Kate Bush on hearing Alex Winston's debut, King Con. With whimsical warbling and an undercurrent of oddity in her lyrics — polygamists and a velvet-covered Elvis are worth a mention — it's an obvious comparison but one that shouldn't be confused in terms of genre. Where Bush covers everything from progressive rock to classical, Winston teeters around but resides primarily in pop.
Some may find King Con too saccharine but tracks like Velvet Elvis prove the adage that appearances can often be deceptive. As Michigan–born Winston trills along — images of bluebirds flocking to a snowy-haired fairytale princess firm in mind — it's easy to miss the song's disturbing obsession with The King. Medicine, a banjo-twanging track where to “sell your kids” before you settle your debts reeks of kook, is kooky in the way you'll put up with — like the lady down the road who drops pictures of her dead cat in your letterbox. Benny, a track sickly enough to make you sharply regurgitate spoon-fed sweets, is not as easy to forgive. Although even with the creepy doll vocals, Benny, a reference to a real American preacher, is not a complete write-off as it fits with the oddball religion arc of King Con.
Despite Winston's kooky version of pop, King Con is at risk of sounding too samey and by the end of the album it's as if you've crawled off a merry-go-round after eating too much cotton candy. Still, Winston's to be commended for veering away from the California girl brand of pop. King Con is by no means groundbreaking but like all good (or should I say commercially clever) pop albums, it will stick in your head — whether you like it or not.