Put Your Records On: “Heart” by The Pretty Reckless

Welcome to a special song edition of Put Your Records On. Tonight, I’m mixing it up a bit and just focusing on one song rather than a whole album. I encourage this behavior as I try to get this segment back to what it was intended for. 😉

The summer of 2010 brought upon some of the biggest changes of my life. I was falling out of love (is that what it was?) or a bad relationship, rather, while trying to figure out my feelings for someone else. Of course, being the over-thinker that I am, I started to reminisce on the past and how the cycle of unrequited love just keeps on repeating. The Pretty Reckless were on heavy rotation at that time, as they were gearing up to release their anticipated debut album, Light Me Up. After digging around the web for demos, b-sides and other unreleased material from Taylor Momsen’s early years, I stumbled across “Heart” and needless to say, it stole my heart.

After leaving her role as Jenny Humphrey on the hit TV drama Gossip Girl, some say Momsen tried way too hard to shed her good girl image. Since the show’s demise, people seem to have forgotten about the character of Little J. Now, we tend to see Taylor Momsen as rock’s new provocative bad girl, but if you listen closely, there’s a lot going on in that head of hers – and it’s something we all feel, whether we like to admit it or not. She lets her guard down with stripped down songs like “You” and “Waiting For a Friend,” and we get to catch a glimpse of Momsen’s true heart. Whether it be jaded or just bruised, we all can relate to the rawness of pure emotion and that, my friends, is what forms the artist/fan relationship.

When I first heard unreleased track, “Heart,” I thought it sounded like something I could have written when I was 16, devastated and heartbroken. Momsen was around the same age when she wrote it and if you compared her newer material to that song, you’d probably assume all of her so-called “sinning” was bullshit. I’ll admit, “Heart” is pure innocence compared to her darker stuff, but it doesn’t make it any less relevant. As I listen to this song now, approaching 26, I still feel like I could have written it yesterday. Maybe I’ve never truly grown up. Maybe my own heart will never heal from one-sided love, but at the end of the day, we can’t dwell on our pain and wrongdoings. We can only move forward, and “Heart” is a poignant representation of utter failure, heartbreak and that period of your life that just never allows you a break. I think the chorus speaks that notion perfectly. “I’m falling all over myself / dying to be someone else / I wish you would dare to walk me home / so I wouldn’t have to feel alone.”

I’m so bummed this song never made it onto Light Me Up, even as a hidden track. I tend to always go back to it whenever I need a good cry or when I need to remind myself that maybe it could be worse. Sure, I’ve felt emotionally abused for a period in my life, and I never get to fully love the people I love, but it’s made me who I am today. “Always wanted but never was.”

I think the last line says it all. “I don’t wanna fight the world alone.” It’s exhausting. But somehow, I know the wait will be well worth it.

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