For Fans Of
Whenever I think of The Used, my mind goes back to 2005 – the first time I had listened to their 2002 self-titled debut album. Their debut album was amazing; it was a new sound with catchy hooks and insane drumming, but it was singer Bert McCracken that truly made an impact on me. Guaranteed, I was around 14 at the time and just starting to experiment with different music but I’d be lying if I said that ‘The Taste of Ink’ or ‘Blue and Yellow’ still weren’t some of my favourite songs to listen to.
Since then, they’ve released several new albums – that have both gained and lost fans. With issues with band members – The Used have managed to deliver a slightly-promising record with ‘Artwork’.
The album begins immediately with the first single, "Blood on My Hands", which channels certain elements from "Take it Away" and delivers a decent opening anthem for the album. However, the song is a lyrical disappointment and nightmare. You can only sing about blood for a short period before people will begin to skip tracks.
This is one of the best written songs on the album and it delivers a lot of emotion, especially in the chorus. It’s exactly how "I Caught Fire" countered "Take It Away" on In Love and Death.
After the first four tracks, Artwork continues on without missing a beat. I’m not saying every song for the rest of the album’s perfect – But they’re not terrible.
"Sold My Soul" would have to be the standout track of "Artwork". It’s got an outstanding guitar riff, an amazing piano ending mixed with a very well-written chorus. All-in-all, it’s a solid track in my humble opinion.
"Meant to Die" is a song (which I’ve heard is rumored to be loosely based on the death of Heath Ledger) and the moral of it is how untimely and unpredictable death can be, and guitarist Quinn Allman really displays his fast-paced and messy guitar skills, fitting in with the songs overall theme.
Overall, it’s noting compared to the debut album way back in the early 00’s. But I can settle on listening to this one until they release another one that may be worthy of its caliber.
A lot’s changed in the last seven years, and if you were once a Used fan, hearing this album probably won’t make you a fan again – sorry, but that’s the truth. However, if you are a fan, you’re going to like what you hear, no doubt about that. I can’t promise that you’ll love it on first listen, but its worth a second spin.
- "Blood on My Hands" – 3:18
- "Empty with You" – 3:24
- "Born to Quit" – 3:34
- "Kissing You Goodbye" – 4:09
- "Sold My Soul" – 4:12
- "Watered Down" – 3:58
- "On the Cross" – 3:07
- "Come Undone" – 3:24
- "Meant to Die" – 3:46
- "The Best of Me" – 4:29
- "Men Are All the Same" – 5:54