The Used - Artwork
Record Label: Reprise
Release Date: August 31, 2009
The Used could possibly be the biggest post-hardcore band of the past decade, and if they aren’t already, they will be with this record. Frontman Bert McCraken described the new songs as “…10 times messier and noisier than they've ever been."
My expectations skyrocketed when the first single “Blood on My Hands” was released. With a heart-pumping beat, this song speaks as a summary for the album as a whole. If the actual meaning of the song is shown in the video, it’s actually deeper than just saying “Oh, look there’s blood on my hands”. The video depicts the lead singer becoming obsessed with a serial killer, hunting him down, killing him, getting convicted of his crimes, and being hung. A great start to the album.
With the next couple tracks they express a feeling of sadness, anger, and regret that can be heard throughout the record. The second song, “Empty With You”, has a peculiar pop intro but then launches itself into a medium-paced love song. So far, this is a big fan favorite. On “Kissing You Goodbye” there is a true sadness that can’t be met my any other song released before, with lyrics like “leave me with your complications. Take your life, you feel like taking mine. Meeting god we stand in line, not alone,” and “No, where to go, I'm not leaving, not going, I'm not kissing you goodbye. On my own, I'm nothing, just bleeding. I'm not kissing you goodbye.”
After this, the mood quickly turns from sadness to anger with “On The Cross” and “Watered Down,” which feature excerpts from Khallid Muhammad’s famous black supremacy speeches. That definitely adds fuel to the fire on these tracks. “Get out of town by sundown. I say if they don’t get out of town, we kill the men, we kill the women, we kill the children, we kill the babies, we kill the blind, we kill the crippled, we kill the crazy, we kill the ******s, we kill the lesbians, I say Goddamnit we kill them all.”
The third-to-last track, “Meant To Die,” reaches into singer Bert McCracken’s dark past of drug abuse and tells about how easy it is to die from an accidental overdose with lines like “So maybe I took a little too much, maybe life didn't want this part of me. It it helps to know, I never let you go. Sure, I lost my mind, but I never really meant to die.”
From one of the last tracks, “The Best Of Me,” comes a feeling of regret and somberness to slowly ease you out of the anger and sadness. It starts with a beautiful melody unlike anything you've ever heard before, then transforms into something different almost each minute of the song. After the first minute, it is a soft rock song with a slow beat, the next Bert is going all out, screaming. This is for sure the most unique song on the album.
The final track, “Men Are All The Same”, retells all that has happened by using beats and harmonies from songs earlier in the record like “Kissing You Goodbye.” It slowly deteriorates near the end and then bursts back into the chorus for a good ending.
While I wouldn’t say its “10 times messier and noiser than ever” like Bert said, it is still an amazing album. Artwork gives you smooth melodies, breathtaking guitar riffs, and bloody love ballads that will keep growing on you no matter how much you may not like them in the beginning. You may not love it on your first listen, but it definitely deserves a second chance.
I really liked thisalbum, I donno whats so bad about it, I like it better than any of their pevious work aside from in love and death.. and everyone on all the other sites are saying this album's pretty good.