Taylor Momsen and her gang are back with more slickly-produced alternative rock.
The Pretty Reckless' new album, Going To Hell, was released last Friday (14th March) which has given critics ample time to mull over the new offering from Taylor Momsen's rock band. Known for her role in catty girl drama series Gossip Girl, 20 year-old Momsen hardest job has been shaking off the shackles of her wide-eyed teenage dream and re-inventing herself as a badass frontwoman with a debt to the devil, with an image that can often seem like overkill.
Taylor Momsen Struts Her Stuff In The Pretty Reckless.
Whilst critics aren't blind to The Pretty Reckless' high prioritisation of their devil-may-care attitude and look, it's pretty clear that Going To Hell isn't too bad on the ears either. The album picks up from where 2010's Light Me Up left off but introduces a more mature songwriting style and enhanced vocals from the distinctively-voiced Momsen. The band's efforts on the debut may have been little more than backing music for Taylor's powerful voice but Going To Hell sees Ben, Mark and Jamie's skills better utilised and foregrounded.
The album begins with sex noises which is designed to shock: something The Pretty Reckless of 2014 don't really need to do. Critics agree: "it seems awkwardly like a desperate attempt to win over new fans with outlandish displays of so-called rebellion," says ATP, cuttingly adding "in all honesty, it can get a little tired." Despite this niggle, GTH gets a thumbs-up: "this 12-track record holds some powerful moments which add to their trademark grunge sound. There's something intoxicating about the fast paced riffs laced with Momsen's own seductive brand of sleaze."
Critics Have Been Pleasantly Surprised By The Pretty Reckless' Latest Effort.
Rolling Stone adds "Titillation's part of the game, for sure, but singer Taylor Momsen - best known for her acting on Gossip Girl - also belts out reams of Catholic guilt," adding "Father, forgive her." Sound-wise, there are plenty of respectable rock references in the album, as notes Chuck Eddy: "Heaven Knows" and "Why'd You Bring a Shotgun to the Party" are full-on glam stomps about troubled teens; other tracks steal back what Carrie Underwood country and Marilyn Manson industrial took from hair metal."
Shock Value & Slight Overkill, But Plenty To Rock Out To On 'Going To Hell.'
"Subtlety has never been Miss Momsen's strong suit. Of course, the most shocking aspect of this record is it's quality," says Daniel Wilcox at 411 Mania, who describes the new record as "a pleasant surprise." He adds that there are "things here that provide little but shock value [...] But if you're able to get past that, and you should, there's a really good hard rock record here that is confident about its themes of sin, love and regret and delivers a number of well-written and even more impressively executed rock songs."
The Pretty Reckless' Going To Hell is out now.