“Who You Selling For” by The Pretty Reckless sounds to me to be their most ambitious album to date. Their third full album release sees them stepping up their game, incorporating fresh sounding elements while still holding on to that signature “Reckless” sound. Each Pretty Reckless album has been longer than the last, with this one maintaining that tradition, clocking in at just over 50 minutes.
Who You Selling For
This album didn’t quite open like I expected it too. In place of a thumping rock jaunt, there was a calm, soothing piano piece accompanied by Taylor Momsen’s softly-sang words. This soon gave way for the fading in of a, dare i say it, Tool-esque riff. This opening song on the whole felt like they were experimenting with their sound; pushing their boundaries stylistically. On this song alone, I felt the next 11 songs were going to be a new experience; different from what I was used to hearing from them.
The following 2 songs, “Oh My God” and “Take Me Down” take me back to that recognisable ‘Reckless sound’. The latter of the two was the album’s first single, and a great choice it was too. The drums are accompanied by an almost tribal-like bongo sound with a cool guitar rhythm lick. “Take Me Down” got me back on the familiar ground with their signature sound that I’ve come to love.
Momsen’s voice is just as great as it always was too – if anything she sounds stronger vocally. Listening to the song “Already Dead” reminded me why Taylor’s vocals put her up in the top end of her league.
Upping their game
The rest of “Who You Selling For” continues to peak my interest throughout. They could have released another “Light Me Up” and I’d have been happy, but this release shows that they aren’t afraid to try new things and aren’t using their great sound in a cookie-cutter fashion. From the blues-infused “Prisoner”; to the heavy belters “Wild City” and my favourite off the album “Living In The Storm”; to the 3 minutes of breathing space that comes with the titular song. This album has much variety and forces me to pay closer attention to each song – pulling me further into the music.
As surprising as the opening to this album was, the closing was more so. Again, based on previous albums, I was expecting a certain style in the closing song – instead they gave me the super-funky finishing song “Mad Love”, whose opening could have easily have lead into an awesome cover of The Beegees’ “Stayin’ Alive”.
“Who You Selling For” demonstrates The Pretty Reckless at their strongest. A band not content with remaining in known safety, they are stepping up their game whilst still holding on to that signature ‘Reckless aesthetic’.