Sunday, February 06 2011 00:00


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51s1YTAzZWL. AA160 Released elsewhere in the world last Fall, THE PRETTY RECKLESS will see the North American release of their debut album LIGHT ME UP this Tuesday. Fronted by actress TAYLOR MOMSEN of GOSSIP GIRL fame (Note: the only thing I've ever seen her in is HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS), The Pretty Reckless is everything that a rock band should ever hope to be.

With a voice that sounds well beyond her years (Momsen is only 17), you almost feel dirty when listening to her tales of sex, drugs, love, and life. The bass-driven groove of "Since You're Gone" provides one of the first glowing moments of the album, following the early single "My Medicine." With a sultry rasp, Momsen proves capable of fronting a band with mastery.
"Zombie," one of the earliest tracks by the band to surface online but not included on the album's European release, is a slow burn, providing breathing room among the fury of the other songs present in the early-mid sections of the album. LIGHT ME UP does slow in its third act, with a pair of ballads ("Nothing Left to Lose" and "You") making the cut, before ending on a true rocker called "Factory Girl."

Producer Kato Khandwala (Paramore, Breaking Benjamin, All Time Low) and guitarist Ben Phillips contribute songwriting to the album along with Momsen, adding experienced hands to the band's debut.

Comparisons to other actress-rockers like Juliette Lewis are already running amok, and while there's a definite feel of Courtney Love in presentation (corsets, makeup, lingerie), the slice of rock and roll pie is served up so well, that any comparison or similarity becomes forgivable.

LIGHT ME UP is a near-perfect rock record, and an early contender for one of the best releases of 2011.

RATING: 4.5/5 Stars 

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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