ALBUM: The Pretty Reckless – Light Me Up

Release Date: August 30th, 2010
Label: Interscope


It’s easy to see why The Pretty Reckless have built up a big fan base. Front woman Taylor Momsen for a start is a famous actress, known for her role in the TV hit series Gossip Girl. Their music seems heavily influenced by bands such as The Veronicas, Smashing Pumpkins and Hole, and therefore their music will appeal to fans of said bands. As Taylor Momsen is so famous, people will buy the album just because she’s in the band and not because they enjoy the music. And good thing really, because the album doesn’t live up to The Pretty Reckless‘s name. It’s anything but.

The first song, ‘My Medicine’, gets the album started okay but from then on it all goes downhill. ‘Light Me Up’ sounds like a soundtrack to a cheesy teenage love film, the over-hyped ‘Miss Nothing’ is a teenage girl’s love-angst rebellion song, the lyrics “And as I watch you disappear into the ground / My one mistake was that I never let you down” is bound to hit home with the teenage fans, and it’s most likely a line that gets the crowds singing along at their gigs. But if you’re not a fan, then the lyrics come across as too over the top and will definitely annoy. ‘Since You’re Gone’ starts like a dirty, raw punk song but quickly transgresses into pop-rock and it’s quite irritating as nearly every song on the album ends up as pop-rock when the start of them sounds like something far more better, something far more effective.

After a while, Taylor Momsen‘s voice starts to grate on you. Her voice sounds too put-on, too arrogant for a teenage girl and you soon realise that everything about her – her voice, her lyrics are the result of the industry moulding her into something they think will work. Well, it doesn’t. She sings about typical teenage girl worries, with ‘Nothing Left To Lose’ standing as a prime example: “Now I see that you and me were never meant, never meant to be now / Now I’m lost somewhere, lost between Elvis and suicide”. Album closer ‘You’ is the best to offer on the album. Taylor‘s voice suits the acoustic guitar and violin, but yet again the lyrics just ruin everything: “You can’t feel me, no / Like I feel you / I can’t steal you, no”. The lyrics seem too mature for a band whose music is mainly aimed at a younger audience, and it’s also as if the band have tried too hard to gauge their listeners.

All this has been done before, and to much better effect. Sure, The Pretty Reckless have a big fan-base surrounding them but once people see past the front woman and the hype, they’ll realise they’re just another generic band. Fair enough, it will appeal to teenagers who’re in their revolt and emo stage, but to people who’ve moved on from that this album is one to stay away from.

Written by Rhys Milsom