Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Light Me Up" Review — 4.5 out of 5 Stars

On their debut album, Light Me Up [Interscope Records], The Pretty Reckless make hard rock sexy again. It's not just because of frontwoman Taylor Momsen's rock 'n' roll femme fatale chic either. It's because she's got a hell of a voice and the attitude to match. In fact, Light Me Up oozes a classic energy a la AC/DC by way of Fiona Apple. Momsen's ability to mix a soulful swagger with a heavy metal grit makes for one of the best debuts of 2011, and a fiery start to what's bound to be an even fierier music career.
The album's first single, "Make Me Wanna Die," begins with an airy, almost symphonic intro before breaking into a chugging riff and slithering bass line. The bridge sees Momsen intoning hauntingly before exploding from a whisper into the track's unforgettable refrain. The dual guitar assault from Momsen and Ben Phillips shreds and sears at all the right moments. "Miss Nothing" kicks off with a dirty guitar melody that slides into another fist-pumping, heart-stopping chorus.
It's got the kind of piss, vinegar, and vitriol that made Hole so important on Live Through This, but Momsen adds a sensual sensitivity on the bridge and hook that's utterly hypnotic. Then there's "Goin' Down" a rip-roaring firestarter of an anthem that rides Jamie Perkins's drums to hell and back as Momsen asks, "Do you mind if I take off my dress?" She's at her most stripped on the acoustic, arena-ready ballad "Just Tonight."
It's a gorgeous slow burner that snaps back and forth between anthemic and ethereal. It's bound to have crowds screaming back to Momsen and co. at every single show. There have been a slew of fantastic young bands fronted by feisty females—Halestorm and Versaemerge instantly come to mind—however The Pretty Reckless strike the most perfect balance between sexy swagger and brilliant songwriting.
The Pretty Reckless are about to set rock 'n' roll ablaze…


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