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Used, The - Lies For The Liars Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 5.5
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 4
Production 7.5
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 5.25
Reviewer Tilt 6.75
Final Verdict: 62%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.66
Musicianship 7.81
Lyrics 6.33
Production 8.04
Creativity 7.25
Lasting Value 6.88
Reviewer Tilt 7.91
Average: 74%
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This review was written by an AP.net staff member.

Used, The - Lies For The Liars

Reviewed by: Drew Beringer (05/22/07)
The UsedLies For The Liars
Release Date: May 22, 2007
Record Label: Reprise

I’m a loyal guy. Perhaps too loyal for my own good. I am usually loyal to bands that I discovered in high school and have continued to listen to, which will probably explain why I enjoy the latest album from The Used. In 2002, the Utah quartet released their debut self-titled album on Reprise Records and it was a hit. Gaining tons of new fans and success daily, it was an album that was gritty, dirty, and had a biting effect on you. 2004 brought along In Love And Death, an inconsistent album that had some great songs and a lot of poppy mediocre songs. This brings us to now and The Used have released their third album, Lie For The Liars, which could be the turning point for the band. Would they return to their roots in the self-titled or follow suit with poppier side Death gave us? What Lies gives us though is a mixture of the previous albums.

Produced by John Feldmann (who has produced all the band’s work), Lies is very polished, adding in new sounds and samples that the band has not used before (it’s very string-heavy). While Lies can come off as overproduced at times, the majority of the album features the intensity that was sorely missing from Death. This can be seen on the album opener, “The Ripper,” which rips from the beginning. Leadman Bert McCracken is his maniacal self, and drummer Dean Butterworth (best known for his work with Good Charlotte, he recorded the drums for this album but has been replaced with Dan Whitesides) kills it on the kit. “Pretty Handsome Awkward” straight up rocks with a twisting riff from Quinn Allman. The first single, “The Bird And The Worm,” begins eerily and features some sampled strings. It’s a decently catchy track, but its production is just too much.

“Earthquake” is reminiscent of songs from In Love And Death, with a soaring chorus and slower verses. The band keeps its momentum with “Hospital,” a track that begins kind of shaky but finishes very emphatically with crushing guitars. “Paralyzed” is a twisted dance number; again it’s very produced and has a cheesy chorus. “With Me Tonight” follows in the same vein as the previous two tracks, bordering on the dancy-side and very produced. All three of these tracks have good intentions but are poorly executed.

Thankfully, “Wake The Dead” revives the pulse of the album, displaying a schizophrenic McCracken and some more nice drumming from Butterworth. “Find A Way” takes a stab as a ballad, and comes across with mixed results, but the self-made percussion is pretty cool. “Liar Liar (Burn In Hell)” follows, which features some gawdawful lyrics (“Liar, liar/pants on fire/and the pills go down/and get you higher,” seriously I did not just make that up). Musically, it’s aggressive and done very well, but McCracken really drops the ball lyrically here. The piano ballad “Smother Me” closes out the album, which isn’t bad. But the “bonus part” that follows it is horrible, closing the album on a very weird note.

There are two glaring flaws on Lies that just can’t be ignored. First off, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that McCracken does not have the greatest voice. He is a terrific screamer though and when he sings at a frantic pace mixed with his screaming, those songs shine. But when he tries to cleanly sing (as seen on “Find A Way”), it comes off as nasally and just not that good. Secondly, this album is weak lyrically. In addition to “Liar Liar (Burn In Hell),” some of the lyrics come off as cheesy and trying way too hard. Positively speaking though, I particularly enjoy the lyrics from “The Ripper,” “Pretty Handsome Awkward,” and “Earthquake.”

Musically, the album is solid. Allman and bassist Jeph Howard really bring it, as does Butterworth on drums. For some the production may be too much, but for the most part I enjoy the added samples of strings and odd noises, it gives Lies For The Liars sort of a grandiose sound. While I would still prefer the raw sound displayed on the first album; that is just not going to happen.

Lies For The Liars is definitely better than In Love And Death. It is not the worst album of 2007 as some would claim; it is certainly not the best, but it is a fine album to blast during the warm weather, as most Used fans will be pleased with this release. So even despite its flaws, I would be a Liar if I told you I didn’t enjoy the latest effort from The Used.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:

1. The Ripper
2. Pretty Handsome Awkward
3. The Bird And The Worm
4. Earthquake
5. Hospital
6. Paralyzed
7. With Me Tonight
8. Wake The Dead
9. Find A Way
10. Liar Liar (Burn In Hell)
11. Smother Me
Produced by: John Feldmann

The Used are:
Bert McCracken - vocals, keyboard, piano
Quinn Allman - guitar, vocals
Jeph Howard - bass, vocals
Dan Whitesides – drums (Dean Butterworth recorded the drums on Lies For The Liars)

Official Website; Official Myspace

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 134
04:44 AM on 05/22/07
#2
No IThinkNot
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I had a bad feeling about this album when I heard people start comparing it to Men, Women & Children, but I'm glad to hear that it's still somewhat heavy.

I wish they were still the old Used, though...
06:59 AM on 05/22/07
#3
Poochemist
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Lol nice closer, Drew. Good review. I'm about to pick up the album, and I hope it doesn't disappoint. Our opinions on past Used albums match up pretty well, so I'll probably agree with you on this one too.
07:55 AM on 05/22/07
#4
Thug_Nasty
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i listened to a few songs on the cd and i think its at least worth buying. it was pretty cool at taste of chaoes they played liar liar and everyone knew the chorus even though they had never heard it before because it was so simple. liar liar pants on fire.
08:27 AM on 05/22/07
#5
Clark
Dirk Nowitzki's Beard
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Wow, those are some terrible lyrics. Which is actually surprising considering the lyrics on their debut album weren't bad.
08:28 AM on 05/22/07
#6
hxchairstylist
Hair on Mars
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getting this in a few hours...
08:29 AM on 05/22/07
#7
xtianheadbanger
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The beginning of "Find a Way" reminded me of the movie Tarzan. The one song where Rosie O'Donnel started banging on stuff and singing. Anyone else remember that?

Frankly, I'm very disappointed. It's such a schizophrenic album. At one moment, Bert is screaming, "Liar, liar pants on fire!" and the next softly singing with a piano, "I will love you always." I just can't get over it. Overall, though it's The Used, and while its not as good as The Used, or In Love and Death, it's still The Used, the band that started my whole interest in punk and "emo." I have a fierce loyalty to them. I think the rating you gave it is perfect.
09:23 AM on 05/22/07
#8
live4music
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they've now completely lost it ill be surprised if they aren't dropped
09:25 AM on 05/22/07
#9
ZeoVGM
PINK WIG, THICK ASS.
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Fantastic album.

they've now completely lost it ill be surprised if they aren't dropped

Uh, do you know why labels drop bands?

Hint: It's not because of your opinion on the CD.
09:29 AM on 05/22/07
heartsdietoo
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I honestly am enjoying the bonus tracks more than most of the tracks actually on the album. Pain is great, and while i don't know if Dark Days and Devil Beside You are bonus tracks or just extras for their singles, they're pretty damn catchy.
09:29 AM on 05/22/07
feelthepressure
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Spot on review, in my opinion. Although I have only listened to it a couple times on their myspace, it's pretty easy to understand that it's not one of those "The more times you listen to it, the more times you understand it" or whatever albums. I think "Wake The Dead" is my favourite.
And the first album is always the more "gritty" one. Less materials to work with as less of a budget.
09:40 AM on 05/22/07
Burnout2888
...has a gambling problem
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Fantastic album.



Uh, do you know why labels drop bands?

Hint: It's not because of your opinion on the CD.

Not to be a dick, but... technically, it is. If he hates it, he won't buy it. That's one less album sale, correct? One man won't do much. But it's very obvious that there is an overwhelming majority of people like him who do not like this album and won't purchase it today. Low album sales = low to no profit on the band = droppage.
09:51 AM on 05/22/07
live4music
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Not to be a dick, but... technically, it is. If he hates it, he won't buy it. That's one less album sale, correct? One man won't do much. But it's very obvious that there is an overwhelming majority of people like him who do not like this album and won't purchase it today. Low album sales = low to no profit on the band = droppage.
hahahaha wow thank you! you saved me having to write a "comeback"
09:53 AM on 05/22/07
ACA
pm if you want to meet at Riot-Chi
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In Love And Death is much better than their 2002 debut.

-ACA
09:58 AM on 05/22/07
andrew4045
Chainsaw Brutality
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In Love And Death is much better than their 2002 debut.

-ACA


you are an ignorant dumbass
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