Vapid and Hollow
The Pretty Reckless is the newest thing to hit the Nickelback market since, well, Nickleback. Breaking onto the scene in 2010, The Pretty Reckless is lead by “Gossip Girl” and former model Taylor Momsen. The group consists of a lead vocalist, backing vocals, guitar (lead and rhythm), bass and drums. Traditional set up for a traditional rock band. But this album, their sophomore release, is all over the map when it comes to styles of music. As a side note, this is great; it proves range with a band. But as Going to Hell went on it was clear this was not a band but a Taylor and Friends Production.
Overall, the music is well constructed and well played. The individual tracks offer a bit of everything, with hard rock anthem music, country rock inspired ballads and some acoustic picking. The vocals are gritty but there is something missing in the delivery. Maybe it is the truth, the feeling behind this album. It seems hollow; there is not a lot of emotion, just a lot of overture contributing to the well-orchestrated noise of this collection.
It’s always easier to make a well-produced album when you have the money to back it up. They have proven they can work out musicianship on the road. They’ve already gone through a complete of lineup changes outside of Taylor herself, but money talks.
With heavy sexual tones and typical religiously rebellious undertones, it is without a doubt that The Pretty Reckless will continue to draw a crowd and make more albums of high production quality. However, they may lean on that alone without putting the energy into the emotion of the song. There is not a lot to say about the substance of this band.
There isn’t a lot defining this album so to describe the fluff that the listener will encounter we will have to do our best at describing what style of music can be expected per track:
“Going To Hell,” the title track, is heavily marketed as “heavy rock,” with a video to boot. “Heaven Knows” is also a heavy rock single, featuring a rocker-girl chorus. This single’s video will also allow you to see Taylor Momsen artistically nude for a few brief moments (so take with that what you will).
“House on a Hill” sounds and feels country. The vocals and the music are both very sad. Somehow, even the sad message gets muted and the experience feels emotionless. “Sweet Things” is a good ole rock and roll song. It’s cool, ya know? It will fit just fine in today’s free radio.
We come to “Absolution” and… finally! We can pick a favorite from the album! But that’s all there is to really say about it. Oh! It’s Rock, definitely rocking. But then, “Blame Me” emerges with lots of country-tinged Avril Lavigne sounds.
The whole album feels like it’s meant to fit into a young American prime time drama soundtrack. Never does that statement become more clear than on “Why’d You Bring a Shot Gun to the Party.” It is typical swearing and getting angry about being a part of the system. Then…”Fucked Up World” follows and the listener thinks for a minute that maybe she underestimated the band.
You are very pretty, Taylor Momsen, and surely reckless. But more of you needs to develop to make music worth remembering.