The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Album cover
Alternative, Rock
Interscope Records
The Pretty Reckless
Light Me Up
The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up Review rating:
1
User rating:
Average: 4.4 (43 votes)

Well, The Pretty Reckless sure have done it. They expanded their EP into an almost bearable full-length album that will definitely please fans. Those who liked the Make Me Wanna Die EP will be more than satisfied with Light Me Up, as it is literally just a longer version of the EP: more cheesy guitar solos, more trying-too-hard raunchy lyrics, and more of Taylor Momsen’s overly-mature yet incredibly addicting vocals. As far as the music world goes, Light me Up does not show any indication of the promising future of the industry, but it is, like the EP, not the worst thing to enter the scene. Momsen again steals the show with her incredible voice, while all other aspects of the record actually bring her down. Had she made sense of her lyrics and tried to penetrate a new side of rock music, she could have created a name for herself, one that does not make little children want to run and hide; however, she deserves props for her effort and her voice.

It is always easiest to begin with the bad news, so let’s discuss lyrics. The phrase “light me up when I’m down” is not only the indication of a serious problem, but it is probably the cheesiest way of asking for a smoke. The rest of The Pretty Reckless’ lyrics follow the same pattern: very cliché and with a very immature mindset for the mature topics discussed. Also, the lyrics simply do not make sense. What does it mean to be “lost between Elvis and suicide,” as stated in “Nothing Left to Lose”? Even when they try to fuse allusion and symbolism into the lyrics, they fall very flat. For example, “My Medicine” features the phrase, “there’s a tiger in the room and a baby in the closet.” Did they really allude to The Hangover? Yes, yes they did.

The songs range from depression in “Nothing Left to Lose” to major party tunes like “Factory Girl,” allowing no consistency or flow to the album-- nothing to hold it together or make it real to its audience. The seeming ability to relate to the lyrics disappears at a second glance, and the songs are unveiled as empty. Also unsustainable are the instrumentals. As seen on the EP, nothing special is brought to the table as far as musicality goes. Their guitarist plays the guitar, their drummer keeps the beat, their bassist strums along, and that is about as far as it goes. The guitar riffs are ordinary, the beats are simple-- nothing is gained for rock and roll.

Again, the only thing that makes this album worth listening to is Taylor Momsen’s voice. If good, raw vocals make you happy, set this album on repeat because this girl can sing. Her voice is raspy and rough and mature and incredible, to say the least. She, by herself, could do great in the rock industry if she could find people on her level to back her up, and maybe a lyricist. It was a valid effort for the Pretty Reckless once again, but nothing to write home about. Not even a little.

1. My Medicine
2. Since You're Gone
3. Make Me Wanna Die
4. Light Me Up
5. Just Tonight
6. Miss Nothing
7. Goin' Down
8. Nothing Left To Lose
9. Factory Girl
10. You

The Pretty Reckless is a New York based alternative rock band fronted by American actress and model Taylor Momsen. Other members include Ben Phillips, Mark Damon and Jamie Perkins. On December 30, 2009, the band released a promo song entitled Make Me Wanna Die which was later launched on the soundtrack to the 2010 film Kick-Ass. The first EP for their album was released on June 22, 2010 and the full record "Light Me Up" was released August 27, 2010 in the UK and on February 8, 2011 in the USA. ... read more

Comments

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Fantastic review - your best work to date.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Disagree.  The review seems detached from reality to be honest.  I mean, there's barely a guitar solo on the album.  I respect your opinion if you find it cheesy, but at least keep the facts straight rather than bloviating.

I quite like it.  It's not ground breaking, but it's more interesting than the Miley-esque pop music out there.  I'd give it three stars.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

That's exactly my point though. There is barely a guitar solo on the album, you're right, and that's exactly what's wrong with it.  There's no musical originality, no display of any innovation or anything.  I would understand if they gave an honest effort and failed, but I feel like the band members actually may have more talent than they are displaying.  I feel like they sat around and said "what is hard core bad-ass rock and roll" and fit their music to that rather than being honest about their art.  Not to say that the experiences described are contrived, but I feel it is too forced.  You are welcome to disagree with me, and I completely respect your opinion.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

She went to my school.

She's such a poser. It's funny.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

"...she could have created a name for herself, one that does not make little children want to run and hide..."

What's the point of this phrase? She said herself that she would advise kids not to look up to her so obviously she has no concern if her music would scare the hell out of them. What am I saying? She obviously has no concern for anyone's opinion against her. So I'm sorry, but if her music is practically unbearable for you, she'll still "be making more records whether people are listening to them or not." I feel bad that you have to "survive" more of this "crap."

 

And also, how does "lost between Elvis and suicide" not make sense? Apparently, she (and probably her beau) listened to Presley music together and being in a bad relationship pretty much killed her. I think the lyric makes a great overall sense of going crazy over bad relationships so now your heads all over the place and you can't think straight.

 

And, crap, she really doesn't need a lyricist like Miley and Selena would. If you really think about, your life experiences won't always make sense. And yet somehow make complete sense at the same time. Life's like that. It's not always sane. It's crazy and unclear and all over the place. And I think this album gives a great feel of that. Of that weird life stuff.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

This is the only one of about 12 reviews of this album that i have seen that is negative, all the reviews on amazon uk are also very positive, but i guess you know best.
By the way, the riffs are fantastic, catchy and some of the best and most powerful i have heard this year, but as i said before, you know best,

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Awesome review, I completely agree with everything you said. Great work.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Most of this album is quite good , but it is also a decent change from , pop music as miley cyrus , and other ear bursting pop stars that try to hard (Justin Bieber who doesn't know a thing about love and has absolutely no sole behind his music and will hopefully become forgotten in the near future.) . I agree they could have tried harder instead of going mainstream with this and going all "dark, and vampire." to be completely honest , i do wish for that fad to die out quickly , instead of dragging it on.   

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Oh STFU, it's an awesome album. Your review doesn't make any sense at all. Like literally, did you feuded with Momsen or something ? It looks like you use hatred instead of real reviews. It's a good album. Majority gave 3/5 and such,

This is the only site that gave it a 1/5.

This proofs that this reviewer is a rookie. And doesn't know anything about music..

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Oh no I have nothing against Momsen; I think she is an incredible singer with so much potential in this industry.  But, I do stand by my review and everything I said.  I respect your opinion, but they could have done so much more with their music.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Oh no I have nothing against Momsen; I think she is an incredible singer with so much potential in this industry.  But, I do stand by my review and everything I said.  I respect your opinion, but they could have done so much more with their music.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Exactly - they could have done more. I still think it doesn't deserve one star. You don't give people one star for "not doing more". Personally, I absolutely adore her voice, and some songs are really good. Of course some of them I just can't stand, as "Light Me Up." It's slow, boring and the lyrics are stupid. And yes, it's not the likes of Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend, Bon Ivor or some other musical genius, but it's listenable, has catchy tunes and can appeal to a very wide audience. It's not that bad!


Generosity is the key. I have heard much, much worse. What can you rate Justin Bieber or Britney Spears if this is one out of five. A negative twelve?!?

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Sorry, I have to answer to this message because I strongly disagree with some things you say. I agree with the comment about Justin Bieber. You cannot put the same mark to this, even if you hate it, to Justin Bieber's shitty album. But, ehem, Light Me Up is awesome. And it's so much better than any Animal Collective, Bon Iver and specially Vampyre Weekend CD. Indie Rock, after 2007, really s*ck. With respect, but these 3 bands are not musical genious. When you say musical genious, you are talking about The Beatles, led Zeppelin, Metallica, The Doors or Creedence clearwater revival, along with a lot more. And if you refered to recent great bands, the closer ones in timeline are 30 Seconds To Mars, Airbourne, The Answer and a few more, and they are not as great as 2000s monsters like Coldplay, Green Day (OK, they started in the 90s, but they can be considered as a 2000s band), The White Stripes or Keane, between others. So, I think The Pretty Reckless is among the best recent bands, and that all of these groups have a long but a brilliant career in the future, because they refuse a dead movement: indie rock. You can like it or not, but it's dead, like grunge, like classic rock, like many others.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

and aren't you quite the authority.

indie rock is about as dead as hip hop and this band is terrible.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Sorry, I don't understand anything. What are you saying about Hip Hop? Even pure rappers say that Eminem, best hip hop artist of the 2000s, is not as great as in the past. Glory days of hip hop were when Run DMC, Public Enemy, Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z and even Beastie Boys were rocking out. And I think Eminem is absolutly great, one of the best artits in history (and remember that Jay-Z have record some good albums in the 2000s), but Hip Hop is now Hip Pop, and even the masses prefer now things like Dance. Because when Rap fell to mainstream success and commertial pop fans caught it as a "cool music", Hip Hop degenerated A LOT. Of course, it would never die, but its spirit is under a big big grave. Let's see if somebody can resque it, I hope so, and I'm sure that are artists trying it, and i don't think last works of Eminem are awful, but for I have listened from pure rappers is that they are not like the old ones. It's like heavy metal, may be in metal it's even worse. Most of the new metal bands... are rubbish. We need new great bands, but NOW!

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

I'm tending to lean towards you just are not looking hard enough. Hiphop was always Hip-POP, it started out as a DJ and Color Guy (or MC--Master of Ceremonies) turning beats at parties. I mean if we're talking the "Glory Days" as you've so put it (which is up for argument as you've point to both the 80s and 90s) hip-hop began as party music, eventually evolved into gansta-rap as the 80s turned into the 90s and recently, with the arrival Kanye years ago, the idea of a heart-on-sleeve rapper is more or less the new go-to archetype (Drake, Cudi, Wale). One could even make a case for Weezy changing the recent hip-hop landscape as well.

Though I will not disagree with you on the influence of Dance music on hiphop--in recent years lots of bad producers have made lots of money with shitty club beats coupled with lame-ass rappers. But 10 years ago we could have cited the influx of gangsta-love songs (see everything Ja Rule/LL Cool J/J. Lo./Ashanti made, esp together) as a similar slop pile forewarning for the downfall of rap--didn't happen--genre evolved.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

really what I'm trying to say here is indie-rock and hip hop are not "dead" no matter how much that awkwardly sardonic kid with the tight shirts at school may tell everyone to sound cool.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

In your opinion, so has done Heavy Metal, or you don't know anything about it? But, if we compare, only listening, and seee what people who really love that genres say about it now, we'll see the truth. Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, and everything, SOLD OUT! Because we are in the 2000s, the commertial music years. You say you like, or even know, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, etc. Do you think Zappa and Byrne are in the same level as Kayne west and 50 Cent!? Wow, I know music is music, but some artists take it seriously, and they became legends for that, and others only want to sell. The day that Justin Bieber will be considered to be equal as Robert Fripp, music will not have solution. And I'm not a purist as these maniac ones, but some thing are obvious. Who is the last Rock legend? I want you to say it, if you know, and see how far did he died.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

first of all, this album should not even be compared to indie rock and hip hop. within their genre, the pretty reckless have not made their mark on music, nor will they if they continue to produce albums like light me up. the bands you listed as being less than genius would not be so respected and known within their genres if they were as terrible as you say. the review i gave of light me up did not compare momsen and her band to any other group or genre, it was an honest assessment of their work. i nowhere stated that this band is bound to fail, rather i hoped for their success. to put them on the level of the great classic rock bands, however, is more than a little ridiculous.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

* When I say that 30 seconds to mars is a recent band... I mean that is a band with a lot of future for its style, like I said that Green day was a 2000s band.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

People who are saying Danielle is just hating on Momsen, no she is not; not once did she say anything bad about Momsen herself and to see that the review is unbiased, she did praise her vocals multiple times

 

My only thing about this review is that I feel you are critiquing her a bit too hard. You are critiquing her as if you'd critique a rock band that's been in the industry for a while and have made a huge name for themselves and have let down. This is Taylor & the bands first record, and during the recording period, Taylor was most likely between 15-16 as she just recently turned 17. For that age, coming out with a record like this is quite impressive compared to the likes of what other artists her age are doing. Not only that, but yes, the lyrics may not be the most powerful or sensible all the time but at the same time the lyrics are all written/co-written by Taylor who, for her age, is still producing better lyrics than her peers....do her peers even write their own lyrics? 

 

Taylor is only 17, 15-16 when the record was produced and I think the outcome of this record is good for what it is. I wouldn't call it a groundbreaking record, nor one that will get her that far in the industry, but it is a fair debut. Instead of one star, I would at least give it a 2 to 3 star. Almost every other reviewer that's reviewed the album has given it at least 3. 

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

I critiqued her just as I would critique any other band. The music industry is cutthroat, no matter if you are 10 or 25 or 60, and I wrote a completely honest review of her work.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

I agree and somewhat disagree. I agree that Momsen's vocals are surprisingly amazing, despite the fact it's hard to tell whether Momsen is simply a post-grunge rock n' roll poser or if she's serious considering her overnight makeover. Nevertheless, I'm split when it comes to the album. Half of the songs are great and then the other half simply lags. Tracks such as "You" "My Medicine" "Nothing Left to Lose" and "Just Tonight" are honestly written, and just cliche enough to work. But then there are disappointing tracks like the goth anthem "Make me Wanna Die" that sounds as if it were written by a Twilight-obsessed twit. Ironically, you can hear it being played in the Vampire Diaries trailer. It's bothersome enough that the song was inspired by Romeo and Juliet. Can't people find another literary achievement to write about? The lyrics in "Make me Wanna Die" are cliche and uninspired, bordering on contrived. And then "Miss Nothing" is simply unoriginal, mainstream nonsense that we've all heard a thousand times on the radio and basically lacks the raw and rough appeal in her earlier songs such as "Blender" and "Zombie." I think it was a respectable effort but I admit I don't think I'll be blasting it in my car anytime soon, also because every other teenager in the world is starting to like The Pretty Reckless and my tragic flaw is that I hate what everyone else likes, no matter how credible. Ultimately, Light Me Up is a fair enough debut, a crowning achievement perhaps, but not forgettable either.


 


For a full review you can read at http://moxiegirl.net/theprettyreckless.php 

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Allison: Honestly, I don't think there are a lot of people who like this band. There seems to be many people who are criticizing her in an attempt to hate her and put the band down. I mean, if they think Miley is dressing like a tramp than they'll most likely be criticizing Taylor even worse for looking like a hooker.

I personally could care less about the twits that everyone's digging these days (Miley, Justin...ect.) So whatever your tragic flaw is may not be that tragic after all. I mean, you said yourself that you like the band's earlier songs so it's not like you literally hate everything about their music...?

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

I appreciate the fact that you gave Taylor credit for her singing vocals because they are amazing. However the review is the most critical I have seen and dare I say I have seen better reviews for this album from much more credited websites. It's unfortunate for the band because they put a lot of work into the album and Taylor herself says she doesn't care about reviews and that she will continue making albums regardless. Also I think it is unfortunate that everybody criticizes her looks people can't accept that this is the little girl from How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Gossip Girl and really i don't care if she is just dressing that way to get attention because in todays industry if you don't do something to get noticed then you won't get noticed however talented you may be. Prime example Kesha zero talent but she is huge right now. I rest my case.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Honestly, I hope she does make more music. I think she has a lot of potential to do great things, but she needs to get past the immaturity and trying too hard to be something she's not. You can tell when something is forced and when it's natural, and I think when she learns more about herself she will be able to produce better music. She's still young and has a huge career ahead of her and I hope to see her succeed.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

I didn't think it was that bad! OK, some lyrics need work, but overall, I thought the music was actually pretty good. But anybody notice how Factory Girl has the lyric 'Getting done in the LA sun, I'm on New York time'? Being someone who's been to both cities, I couldn't help but scoff, thinking technically that she went for a quick rhyme, before realizing New York is three hours ahead, which would put her to bed three hours before her partying friends. So, yeah, she's compromises sense for tacky lyrics and bad cliches, but musically, the album is decent. But kind of depressing, actually, if you don't mind me saying.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

"But anybody notice how Factory Girl has the lyric 'Getting done in the LA sun, I'm on New York time'? Being someone who's been to both cities, I couldn't help but scoff, thinking technically that she went for a quick rhyme, before realizing New York is three hours ahead, which would put her to bed three hours before her partying friends."

Okaaay....wooowww....whoever wrote the review directly above/before me....let's not get all technical about one damn lyric! For crying out loud. I mean she could have possibly been talking about being in L.A. and then go forward like a WEEK, YEAR, WHATEVER from that and she's suddenly in New York. I mean JEEZ does this really matter? Is time really THAT important to you? If it does, think about the possibilities between the words PLEASE!

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Aww....Danielle....she's just a kid. A TEENager. Of course it'll seem like she's acting like a fake poser sometimes but it's only natural. I bet all of us, including you, have tried to be something different or something you're not. Taylor has her own right to be a screwy little teenager who's trying to figure herself out like the rest of us. Give her some slack. She'll change somehow.

Re: The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up

Aww....Danielle....she's just a kid. A TEENager. Of course it'll seem like she's acting like a fake poser sometimes but it's only natural. I bet all of us, including you, have tried to be something different or something you're not. Taylor has her own right to be a screwy little teenager who's trying to figure herself out like the rest of us. Give her some slack. She'll change somehow.

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