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The Pretty Reckless - 'Just Tonight'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:43 UK time, Friday, 10 December 2010

The Pretty Reckless

It might just be the festive season, it might be that goodwill to all men is seeping from every shop stereo system, and I'm getting a bit soft, but maybe there is something to this Pretty Reckless malarkey after all.

OK, so she's a bit of a copycat, and possibly should tone down the 'tude a bit until she's found her own voice - instead of using someone else's and pouring withering scorn on the pop world for being shallow and sensationalist - but is anyone else starting to really warm to Taylor Momsen and her band?

You can't really ignore the fact that she's only 17, that probably explains a lot in terms of the OTT gothic nonsense, and the describing yourself according to that which you are not. When you're still trying to work out who you are, using other people as a handrail is very helpful indeed.

(Here's the video. That's the worst case of conjunctivitis I've ever seen.)

And that voice is ageless anyway. It's deep and weary, even deeper and more weary in a thoughtful, hurt sort of a song like this than it was in 'Miss Nothing', cos that song was a provocative poke in the chest for The Haterz, and this is a far more vulnerable sort of a thing.

You can still see where things have been squished into a mould though. The moody verses which really should have a cello sawing away in the background DO have a cello sawing away in the background. The chorus which should hit like a brick wall of huge sonic mass hits like a brick wall. Everything is present and correct, following a formula laid down in fragments by everyone from the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana to Evanescence and Paramore.

But where other Pretty Reckless songs tend to play with the idea of shallow celebrity and identity in a manner which can be rather annoying, coming from a bratty LA actress, this plays straight - from the heart to the heart - and is all the better for it.

Four starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


Hive says: "I personally give Taylor credit for her antics and not caring what the press think of her, good on her to be so bold."

The Sound Alarm says: "Momsen prides herself on not being like every other sixteen year old"



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