The Pretty Reckless: Going to Hell Album Review


The Pretty Reckless, if you’re not aware is, let’s just say ‘Taylor Momsen’s band. She was in Gossip Girl for a bit and then in 2010 the bands début album ‘Light Me Up’ was released, which I actually enjoyed. However ‘Going to Hell’ has been labelled as a ‘progression’, but I’m not really seeing it. Lyrically I find that it is different, there are more religious motifs, but it seems forced; Hell has almost become glorified to an extent where ‘Going to Hell’ feels like borderline Christian Rock.

The album is consistently average. There are interesting moments where a change of dynamics will occur like during opener ‘Follow Me Down’ which has a bridge where the guitar is playing through a phaser pedal and I really like the band when they embrace the calmer side of things; Momsen’s voice doesn’t seem as angry and is actually almost sweet.

There’s a lot of cliched Hard Rock riffs played throughout, the sort of stuff you see in a WWE video game, the music wrestlers come out too (or the Republicans at that Conservative Convention – who comes out to ‘The Power of Love’?, so you could wait until Wrestlemania and get three hours of this stuff, or you could just not listen to any of it. ‘Heaven Knows’ is a poor man’s Glam Rock stahmp and ‘House on a Hill’ builds up with meaningful strings, which I do appreciate the change of tone from the obnoxious ‘I’ve heard this so many times before’ to ‘I’ve heard this less often’. Unfortunately my favourite track is fifty-six seconds long. ‘Dear Sister’ could be so much more, it could be the step into something good for the band, but instead it is just the ‘best interlude ever’, I wish so much that this would become fleshed out, but The Pretty Reckless would ruin it –  like cheesy chips it would be a heart attack waiting to happen.

If anything ‘Going to Hell’ makes me frustrated as a listener. ‘Light Me Up’ was nothing particularly special but it was fun and had potential, and plus Taylor was something like seventeen when that album was released – she’s twenty now and things haven’t gone anywhere. ‘Going to Hell’ is very middle of the road. It doesn’t do anything other than fail to live up to my personal expectations (which honestly I wasn’t really on top of ‘album number two’). I’m going to re-visit their first album now – but if you like typical Hard Rock flings then try it, try it if you’re in high school and want to rebel – then listen to something better like Black Flag.


Listen here.


2 thoughts on “The Pretty Reckless: Going to Hell Album Review

  1. Ouch to the Pretty Reckless! But I totally agree: there’s something deeply forced about this. At times, I think it is a bit juvenile; other times, I think that whenever anyone feels fervently about something, he or she might force that idea down. I’m actually writing an track-by-track analysis of the record—I want to exact some narrative out of this record, which is quite obviously (as you so nicely point out) centered on the complexities of religious belief, practices, and traditions (not to mention, the social issues that emerge from those factors!). I can’t lie, though, I’m a big Reckless fan, so I’m not being partial!

    • I did enjoy their first album, it’s just I don’t like the fact that there is so much religion. It seems like an odd focus, I haven’t really read much interviews and I don’t really know where Taylor stands on faith and everything – I can’t help that everything seems to be a little sexual with all the references to ‘going down down down’ a little bit of double entendre and it doesn’t help that Taylor wears little clothing and I’m not even aware for message she’s trying to send with that, or with the music. I just wish it wasn’t so generic, I think in them trying to ‘find themselves musically’ they’ve gone backwards in search, maybe the religion has helped them to ‘search’. Album number 3 will have to be one to look forward to then?

      I’d like to see your track by track though.

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