Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Constantly shifting and searching, The Pretty Reckless have never been a band to rest on their laurels, their rise in the business due much more to their material than having a famous face front them.
Whilst it could be argued that having Taylor Momsen as your singer did them no harm and may have opened some doors, it’s been the quality of albums like last year’s ‘Death by Rock ‘n’ Roll’ that has sealed their reputation as a truly kick-arse outfit.
With a UK tour looming, ‘Otherworld’s’ shows a different side of the band. A blend of acoustic tracks covers and a remix, this eleven-track release sees The Pretty Reckless spread their wings and tears down some walls.
There’s some special guests along for the ride too as Alain Johannes, Mike Garson and Matt Cameron all add their own sprinkles of magic along the way.
The delicately trippy pop of ‘Got So High (Remix)’ opens, showing a more shimmering hue to their catalogue before the twisting and hypnotic ‘Love Loud’ provides a sharp juxtaposition, the guitars of Ben Phillips and Momsen tearing things up in a maelstrom of noise.
After this full-on blast the only way to go is to strip things back and this approach really lets the songs breath and the performers shine even brighter as the beautiful guitarwork and naked vocals of ‘The Keeper’ heralds a run of acoustic tracks that feature some dazzling performances.
David Bowie keys player Garson adds some truly gorgeous piano to ‘Quicksand’ and ‘25’ adds drama with a dark, Beatle-ish section and some classy orchestration, Momsen pulling out all the stops to really bring an all-consuming heart to the lyrics. Similarly, ‘Only Love Can save Me Now’ oozes with dynamism and ‘Death By Rock ‘n’ Roll’ adds some gasoline to the fire, proving that acoustic guitars can hit hard.
‘Halfway There’ glows and The Pretty Reckless take on Elvis Costello’s ‘What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding’ brings their own light through those perfectly constructed old windows.
It’s just down to ‘Harley Darling’ and ‘Got So High’ to bring it home in one last warm, wonderful hug that highlights the maturity and class of Momsen, Phillips, Jamie Perkins and Mark Damon. Far from being a filler between full-on rock albums, ‘Otherworlds’ is a fascinating and enchanting release that stands
fully on it’s own feet and shows that The Pretty Reckless have only just begun what will inevitably be their relentless rise to the top.