Saturday, April 24th, 2021

The Pretty Reckless ft. Tom Morello – And So It Went

In which we are more measured than “the children”…


Thomas Inskeep: These days, it seems like lots of popular rock bands eventually slide over into making pop, substituting beats and synths for their guitars — but not The Pretty Reckless. This gang of four, three guys and a phenomenal frontwoman, Taylor Momsen, just keep rocking, sometimes more grungy, sometimes more metal, but always true to the rock. (Hell, this single even comes from an album titled Death by Rock and Roll.) Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello provides an appropriately incendiary solo, but the star of “And So It Went” is undoubtedly Momsen, an absolutely glorious terror on vocals. In a smart move, an “Another Brick in the Wall”-esque children’s choir joins in on the final chorus, too (a key lyric in the song is “the children lost their minds,” so it makes great sense). This gives me everything I want from a hard rock record in 2021. 

Juana Giaimo: I wish the rest of the song had more of the bridge’s vulnerability. Also, there are truly very few cases where adding a children’s choir in a song comes out not cringy.   

Katherine St Asaph: You don’t need the crowd singalong at the end to know that’s an amazing hook. But despite the presence of Tom Morello — via his guitar solo, but more pertinently his endorsement — it’d be much better in a song about messier, personal revenge than this one, where “it belongs to me” would seethe, rather than U-turn the protest song away from the point. Unless, since this isn’t the first time The Pretty Reckless have veered into dubious, almost self-misinterpreting lyrics, it is the point. In which case, uh, anyone got an art-vs-artist pitch?

Frank Falisi: It’s pretty easy to be despondent about this kind of glazed and vague fist-shaking; at best it’s read a few Jacobin headlines and at worst it’s actively constructing a theory of political engagement that mistakes rock-starring for organizing. But it bears mentioning maybe, that if I’d heard it in 2008 on WRXP playing through the speakers of my busted Saturn Ion, I might have been inspired to seek out headlines and start looking at my fist. Everything starts somewhere!

Samson Savill de Jong: This tries so hard to be anthemic that it forgets to actually be about anything. Or do anything interesting. Tom Morello’s guitar solo is the best part because it’s the only bit that feels like it was an actually new artistic idea. Also the mix sounds off to my ear, the guitars and drums all seem so buried they meld together, with the singer’s voice being the only distinctive part. The kind of thing you’d hear on a small stage at a “real rock” festival, enjoy in the moment, and then immediately forget and never search out afterwards. 

Alfred Soto: The gentler third act is as unexpected as they expected, disorienting listeners enough to forget the impact of Tom Morello’s riff when it reenters. While the backing choir suggests Paramore joining Rage Against the Machine, the sacral overtones fail to match “And So It Went”‘s universalist intentions. Better to let the “you” signify by him/herself than to grind away at metonymic overkill.

Jeffrey Brister: The groove it hits right at the top just feels good. I love that downward motion in the riff. It gets right into the pocket and stays there for a long time, building and breaking at just the right moments. The lyrics don’t overreach, which is nice — I like it when the music and the vocals intertwine like that, each propelling the other forward. The lullaby bridge into the Morello heroics is a nice touch. That riff, though. It’s good.

Reader average: [6.5] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “The Pretty Reckless ft. Tom Morello – And So It Went”

  1. I wanted to blurb this but couldn’t get my thoughts together. In my mind, this is a song that would sound way better live than recorded. I’ve seen them live, and Momsen really commits to performance, in a way that a studio recording can sometimes flatten.