The Used – Artwork

The UsedIs it emo week or what? Did someone forget to notify me?

Oh more, craptastic emo music from my youth…The Used. The eyeliner covered quartet from Utah have released their fourth studio album, Artwork. And once again, I am ashamed to say that it’s not bad.

I was a pretty big fan of their self-titled, but kind of lost them for a few years…and two albums, apparently. Although not heavier, this album seems a lot darker and actually more thoughtfully put together than their prior efforts. They’ve really honed the sound that they already had. And no more screaming like you think Bert’s gonna vomit all over himself.

According to McCracken, this album is about “coming to grips with how much you really hate yourself”. Fair enough, they’re a post-hardcore emo band. It has a really promising start with “Blood On My Hands” which I’m sure will be the arena rocker of this album, it’s catchy as hell with a heart pounding beat. The next couple of tracks are your emo standards, filled with anger, sadness, and regret. Most memorably, “Kissing You Goodbye”, pretty fucking sad actually. Starts off pretty poppy but quickly delves into a sad, sappy love song.

The pace quickly picks up though, with the angst ridden “Come Undone”, “Watered Down”, and “On the Cross”, followed by “Meant to Die”, an introspective track for McCracken, rumored to be about both Heath Ledger’s death, as well as the overdose of McCracken’s pregnant girlfriend. It also hints at his own years of drug abuse with lyrics like, “…sure I lost my mind, but I never really meant to die”.

All in all, it’s okay. This album lacks balls. They lost that edgy, youthful sound that they had and surprisingly enough, the clever lyrics, for twenty-somethings in an emo band. After a few listens, you do come to appreciate the cohesive sound of the album, but it lacks actual content. C

The Used Site

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