Raw, unpolished, kick in your face energy is what sets The Pretty Reckless apart from their slick, over autotuned counterparts. Light Me Up starts off in high gear with ‘My Medicine’ and just builds from there. ‘Since You’re Gone’ keeps the energy flowing, and by ‘Make Me Want To Die’ you’re ready for a breather – you almost get it, but not quite. Blending clear harmonies with bits of ballad interspersed with hard rock, you are still hanging on for dear life.
The title track, Light Me Up, is a switch, and singer Taylor Momsen’s voice really shines in this one.. she’s got phenomenal pipes and pitch, and a depth of range reminiscent of Pat Benatar and Joan Jett combined.
Zombie is a dark sombre song if taken seriously – and I think it’s meant to be done that way… I found myself humming along with the chorus by the second verse; it’s catchy despite the shadowy overtones.
Almost acoustic in nature, especially when juxtaposed with the previous songs, Just Tonight is heartfelt, melancholy and rife with deep emotions. The ending is especially sonically poignant.
Miss Nothing kicks us out of our pity party and has the feel of top down cruising on the highway with the stereo cranked. A very trippy dreamy bridge in the song is an unexpected event but it works. My toes are tapping and I want more… but the song is just the right length.
The hardest hitting, both lyrically and musically, Goin Down is a combination of subtle sexual references bouncing off mentions of confession and murder and until you hit the chorus you’re never really sure if it’s your own dirty mind or really the song – it’s the song. It’s an odd song to say the least but kinda sneaks up on you till it rips you into shreds.
Nothin Left to Lose almost has a country bluesy or 60’s rockabilly feel to it when compared with the previous songs.. again a showcase for Momsen’s vocal chops, which are still amazing – most artists reach that ‘I’ve had enough of this guy’ before I reach the final songs. Short sweet guitar solo in the middle, drums are more noticeable by themselves too – it’s a song that you can literally pick out each band member as they make up the whole.
You – I would hazard a guess that with strings in the background, acoustic guitar and a gentler softer vocal this would be chosen as a radio single. It’s almost ballady but not boring. Not slow… sweet tender violins just do nothing but enhance every aspect of this song.
Kick ass drum solo starts Factory Girl and the album ends the way it started – shred your face off hard hitting rock and roll.
All in all this is a surprisingly good album! The songs are a combination of humor, wit, tongue in cheek, and deeply emotional sentiments. They are all well written, sung with passion and there is a flair here you won’t find in many modern bands these days.