It has been many moons since Taylor Momsen and Little Jenny Humphries (nee Cindy Lou Who) parted ways in a somewhat dramatic fashion. The official version of events stressed Momsen’s wish to concentrate on her music career, but reports from the show, as well as a very candid interview with Tim Gunn who guest-starred on Gossip Girl alongside the actress, revealed the less than professional attitude with which Momsen conducted herself on the set. And then there were all those pictures of the teenager wandering around America dressed up like Helmut Newton’s chamber maid.
The Pretty Reckless’ music reflected Momsen’s new hardedge image and was met with moderate acclaim; the song “Makes Me Wanna Die” peaked at no. 1 on the UK Rock charts but barely made an impression in the US. Taylor Momsen was transforming from America’s sweetheart to the kind of Hard-Rocking, Heroin-Chic, kinderwhore that makes suburban housewives clutch their children to their outraged bosoms.
With “You,” Momsen finds a symbiotic medium between her new image as the misbegotten spawn of Courtney Love and Ozzy Osbourne, and the vulnerable ingénue who grew up on our screen. By itself, “You” is a fairly nifty piece of raw songwriting, but its primary strength lies in the fact that the vocalist really sells it; Momsen’s voice is gruff and tender and believable while her musical accompaniment is refreshingly subtle, if on the simplistic end.
Sure, “You” isn’t the greatest love song ever written, but Momsen has come a long way and, if she can continue to restrain her natural instinct to turn up the reverb and pull down her underwear, Momsen and The Pretty Reckless should go far.
For the original review, visit the WQHS Blog.
Sumi Naidoo is the DJ of Long Skirt, Short Jacket that airs on WQHS Fridays from 2 – 4 PM.