Other Worlds

rating icon 9 / 10

Track listing:

01. Got So High (Remix)
02. Loud Love
03. The Keeper (feat. Alain Johannes)
04. Quicksand (feat. Mike Garson)
05. 25 (acoustic)
06. Only Love Can Save Me Now (acoustic)
07. Death By Rock and Roll (acoustic)
08. Halfway There (feat. Matt Cameron)
09. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
10. Harley Darling (acoustic)
11. Got So High (album version)

THE PRETTY RECKLESS formed in 2008, and "Other Worlds", their first proper set of acoustic recordings, brings together acoustic versions of previously released songs as well as covers and other reimaginings. The 11-track release is partially a response to fans' love for the band's acoustic performances, as well as a way to offer nuggets that didn't make their other records.

THE PRETTY RECKLESSTaylor Momsen (vocals, guitar), Ben Phillips (guitar, keys, piano),Mark Damon (bass) and Jamie Perkins (drums) — are known for their songs of pain and passion. That's heightened in "Other Worlds"'s unplugged setting. Previous singles such as "Death By Rock and Roll" and "Only Love Can Save Me Now", when presented with an acoustic background, center the attention on Momsen's vocals, which are disarming and quite stunning.

Momsen has a raw, raspy voice and mature presentation that makes her seem wiser and more worldly than her 29 years would imply. The song "25", when performed acoustically, takes the listener inside Momsen's mind and soul, as she sings, "At 25 and still alive / Much longer than expected for a man / At 25, all hope has died / And the glass of my intentions turns to sand." Another gem, the "Got So High (Remix)" features Momsen's vocals hugging a backing of moody keyboards and dreamy sonics.

THE PRETTY RECKLESS's renditions of classic songs by Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Soundgarden and Chris Cornell add more spice to this set. Taylor's cover of Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" was the first cover she performed for the "Fearless at Home" livestream during COVID. Her cover of SOUNDGARDEN's "Halfway There" off "King Animal" was also a pandemic-era cover, featuring legendary grunge drummer Matt Cameron.

Momsen also takes on Cornell's "The Keeper" with multi-instrumentalist and producer Alain Johannes, and Bowie's "Quicksand" with Bowie pianist Mike Garson. While the cover songs differ in style, what brings them together is Momsen's ability to make each song her own, taking the songs in a different direction than their original recordings.

With the SOUNDGARDEN and Cornell song choices, it's worth mentioning that Cornell was one of Momsen's biggest musical influences. THE PRETTY RECKLESS were actually opening for SOUNDGARDEN on tour when he tragically took his own life following a 2017 Detroit, Michigan, show. Not long after, she also lost longtime producer and friend Kato Khandwala, who died in a motorcycle crash. With those losses, it's understandable why THE PRETTY RECKLESS's newest material has the character of being both therapeutic and cathartic.

"Other Worlds" makes for an appropriate companion to any THE PRETTY RECKLESS fan's music collection, which also includes four full-length LPs. Rock fans who are new to the band will likely also enjoy the collection's dynamic tracks and hard rock revival style. THE PRETTY RECKLESS are evolving, and "Other Worlds" marks the latest chapter in their rock 'n' roll journey.

Author: Anne Erickson
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