Album Review: The Pretty Reckless – ‘Other Worlds’

By Evie Madden
By October 17, 2022 Album, Reviews

Taylor Momsen and The Pretty Reckless are about to take their fans into ‘Other Worlds’ of revamped and reimagined tracks of both their own, and those of rock legends and influences such as David Bowie and Chris Cornell.

The album opens and closes with renditions of ‘Got So High’ which first appeared on their 2021 album, ‘Death By Rock And Roll’. The ‘Got So High (Remix)’ as an opening track sets the mood for the album, highlighting Momsen’s voice as the focus that’s accompanied by a soothing drum beat and piano melody – offering a gentler side to Momsen’s voice that’s a departure from her usual style (in a good way, of course). It’s an interesting comparison to the ending track – ‘Got So High (Album Version)’ – which holds more instrumental components than the latter, including the acoustic guitar which flows throughout the whole album.

One of the many Soundgarden songs, ‘Loud Love’ is renovated through the eyes of The Pretty Reckless, and stands as the highest tempo track on the album. The primacy of the guitar is perfectly synced with the jarring drums which pays homage to the sound of rock and roll, that even amongst the acoustic numbers, showcases the sound is still alive despite modernised views. Momsen’s vocals are electric, capturing the spirit of Chris Cornell himself. This is channelled further in ‘The Keeper’ where American, multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes performs a beautiful and gracious melody that accompanies Momsen’s edgy yet hazy voice that transcends to a poetic take on the tune. Matt Cameron, former drummer of Soundgarden, joins Momsen in a new take of ‘Halfway There’. Encompassing an electric guitar to set the rhythm, the harmonies of Cameron and Momsen blend perfectly amid the guitar in a way that portrays a nostalgia of early 2000s rock.

‘Quicksand’ by David Bowie is also redefined with Mike Garson, who worked with Bowie, harmonising a passionate piano movement with acoustic guitar that protrudes the emotion in Momsen’s voice. Together, the track encases a heartfelt and captivating melody that’s also found in their execution of Elvis Costello’s ‘(what’s so funny about) peace love and understanding’.

Moving from covers, The Pretty Reckless recreate their songs ‘25’ and ‘Only Love Can Hurt Me Now’ which were also featured on the ‘Death by Rock and Roll’ album. Momsen’s vocal range is illuminated in ‘25 (acoustic)’ whose melody is a more powerful, emotion piano movement than in ‘Quicksand’. This emotion cuts across to a stripped back, garage band guitar in ‘Only love can hurt me now (acoustic)’, and whilst different to their original compositions, these tracks are fresh and a breath-taking performance.

As their 2021 album title, song ‘Death By Rock And Roll’ is given an acoustic edge, bringing elements of drum and electric guitar riffs to the softer instruments. This spin offers not only a new sound to the track but also the album as a whole – the sound is unique and embodies a Heartland rock and blues vibe from the instrument configuration that can also be seen in ‘Harley Darling (Acoustic)’. The tempo builds as the track plays on, and its intensity is matched with the force of Momsen’s voice and the layers of instruments – as far as reinventions go, this roots rock piece is to be a fan favourite.

The fifth album, set to release November 7th of this year, is a format of acoustic, stripped back tunes offering another side of the band that fans might not have seen before.