By Lea Shores
Staff reporter

Most people know Taylor Momsen for her role 10 years ago as Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, for current as Jenny Humphrey on the hit show Gossip Girl, or for being notoriously whiney in press interviews.

What Momsen should be known for is as frontwoman and songwriter for the band, The Pretty Reckless.

The band’s first album, Light Me Up, was released in the United Kingdom Aug. 30, 2010 and debuted at No. 6. Fans waited patiently for the album to be released in the United States, Feb. 8.

Despite her age (she is just 17) Momsen’s lyrics deal with sex, drugs, death, and love. Aging her further are her raspy vocals, as if she’s been smoking cartons of cigarettes.

Reviews of the album suggest fans of Paramore and Evanescence give The Pretty Reckless a listen. However, the sound is much more like the rock of Hole, Courtney Love’s band from the 90s.

Most of the album is filler material, the type of stuff you listen to once and then skip over. She tries too hard at times to have the “bad girl” image but if you can get over that, the album is worth $7.99 on iTunes.

The band’s first single, Make Me Wanna Die, premiered on the Kick-Ass soundtrack. It’s  driving rhythm makes the song ideal for driving too fast down the highway or getting revved up for the big game.

The title track, Light Me Up, also takes it’s inspiration from the 90s, sounding like something from Alanis Morissette. It’s not as heavy as Make Me Wanna Die, and the lyrics say a lot about the kind of person Momsen is. Known for having a “rebel without a cause” attitude, Momsen sings, “I don’t think I can be anything other than me”.

Cliché, yes, but Momsen means it.

Hidden at the end of the album, is the  one song that makes it all worth it and shows Momsen’s true talent for songwriting.

The song, You, is a lyrical, acoustic ballad. Unlike most of the other material on the album, it’s actually believable that Momsen has experience with love and relationships. The lyrics are heart wrenching and her vocals are haunting.

It’s unclear at this point whether or not The Pretty Reckless will have any wide spread success but Momsen has a bright future in song writing. Life experience will benefit her lyrics. Momsen has already written songs for other artists, most notably Heidi Montag of The Hills fame—if you consider her an artist.

One way or another, Momsen is sure to stick around the music scene for a while.

Lea Shores is a senior majoring in English. You may e-mail her at lea.shores@sckans.edu.