For their third studio album The Pretty Reckless have really stepped it up with ‘Who You Selling For’, an album which shows some new influences and new levels of maturity in both the song writing and lyrical content. While the band still revels in their sex, drugs and rock and roll image, there is another vibe on this album as vocalist Taylor Momsen shows how far she has come from her fifteen-year old self and ‘Light Me Up’.
This album is first and foremost a rock album, which is exactly how the band intended it. Opening with “The Walls Are Closing In”, a straight up rock track reminiscent of Alice In Chains, with raw guitars, Momsen’s gritty rock and roll vocals and a killer breakdown, the song sets the tone and theme of the album immediately. From there you slip straight into “Oh My God”, the second single off the album, which has a heavy Motorhead influence and touches on society and how girls think in today’s world based on what is considered to be ‘normal’. Moving further into the album, it’s really clear where Momsen’s getting her material from as she sings of the struggles of trying to achieve normalcy while being a rock-star, yet maintaining the sex symbol status and trying not to sell her soul to the Devil. All of which is explored in “Take Me Down” the first single, and third track from the album.
As a long-time fan of the band, but knowing that they were still discovering themselves with their first two albums, it’s fantastic to see the experimentation with the music on this record. The song writing from both Momsen and Ben Phillips (lead guitars) has certainly grown stronger and the difference between the tracks confirms that. “Bedroom Window” for example is an acoustic number that stands in stark contrast to some of the heavier tracks like “Living In The Storm”, but both tracks are equally as good as the other.
For me, the stand-out songs are “The Walls Are Closing In”, “Mad Love” and “Living In The Storm”, a track that really focuses on the gritty vocals and will provide many opportunities for fans to scream the lyrics back at the band live In fact, this whole album will translate so well to the live stage. There is plenty of rock and roll to get your head banging and your feet stamping and enough groove to get you singing along with Momsen as she struts about the stage.
‘Who You Selling For’ has it all. The Pretty Reckless have not been afraid to experiment on this album. From the foot stomping anthem “Prisoner” to the more fast paced numbers, and not forgetting the blues rooted sound of “Wild City”, it is clear that The Pretty Reckless are ready to shake things up and explore more of the wide landscape that is Rock’n’Roll.