The Pretty Reckless – Other Worlds (Album Review)

Sometimes decision making is extremely difficult. However, after all the agonizing, hopefully the right one is made in the end. In the case of The Pretty Reckless, their most recent career move is not only bold, but also quite brilliant. What was it exactly? Well, putting out the new compilation album Other Worlds to be exact.

Released on November 4th through Fearless Records, Other Worlds comes a little over a year after the powerful Death by Rock and Roll. A quick turnaround for a new release, the band, – Taylor Momsen (vocals, guitar), Ben Phillips (guitar, keys, piano), Mark Damon (bass), and Jamie Perkins (drums) – wanted to try something a little different this time around. Do so, they touch on some of their own influences with cover tracks, offer up proper acoustic renditions of their own originals, but also offer some previously unreleased cuts from their vault.

A unique concept, because it is really a hybrid of ideas, the new compilation treats fans to eleven songs which also feature some cool guest artists (Alain Johannes, David Bowie collaborator Mick Garson, and Pearl Jam Drummer Matt Cameron).  

A real mix and match record, it all starts with a remixed version of the 2021 single “Get So High.” Different from the original, Momsen counts before dishing out some soft vocals that compliment a beautiful, gentle arrangement. Partial to the original? Not to worry because this compilation concludes with that album version too. However, the remix is quite addictive. Even so, don’t settle on just replaying this one song, because there is a lot more to follow.

Next up you have a cover of Soundgarden’s “Loud Love” which shines bright with amplified vocals that shows Momsen & company wanted to do justice to the late Chris Cornell. Speaking of such, next up is a cover of Cornell’s “The Keeper” (featuring Alain Johannes) and it is as heartfelt and pure as they come. Keeping with their tribute to Soundgarden, there is also “Halfway There” which features Cameron.

Later on, they dig into an impressive cover of “Quicksand” with the aforementioned Garson on piano. Really something special, thereafter, the acoustic version of their own pieces which include “25,” “Only Love Can Save Me Now,” “Death by Rock and Roll,” and the Country-vibed “Harley Darling.” Good selections, each give you a raw look into Momsen both as a naturally talented singer and songwriter. Which leads us to discussing the album highlight, a cover of Elvis Costello’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.” A wonderful take on this classic Alternative tune, Momsen adds her own touch to this song, makes it her own, but still manages to keep the original spirit.

Overall, Other Worlds might not be all brand-new songs, but it is a wonderful album to get lost in nonetheless. The soft arrangements ground each song and give them a special character that will dig deep. What makes it really awesome is that it is not just one thing, but many, and with that you grow to appreciate this band even more than before. An album dedicated and new fans will love, Cryptic Rock gives Other Worlds 5 out of 5 stars.  

The Pretty Reckless – Other Worlds Album Artwork / Fearless Records

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