The Used - Artwork

The Used - Artwork Artwork is the new beginning for The Used, or like lead singer Bert McCracken says, “It’s not even a new chapter it’s like a new book for The Used”. If the cover is any indication of what is inside, the first thing you realize is how blunt it is with a grotesque looking syringe labeled ‘ART’ poised and ready to puncture into the tattooed ‘WORK’ on the arm below. The picture looks like a horror movie still shot.

Turning it over you see a picture of a prescription medication bottle knocked over, pills everywhere. It all says ‘danger’ and the songs are no different. Starting with ‘Blood on My Hands’ you instantly know that this album isn’t going to hold back. And it doesn’t. From the dangerous, melodic and grimy lyrics of ‘Blood On My Hands’ you’re filled down into ‘Empty With You’; a refreshing twist on the ‘good ole love song’.

In fact it seems to turn it inside out. From there you’re taken to ‘Born to Quit’; a wickedly catchy and daring song, a song that seems to ask you "Do you really think you know what you’re talking about?".

Then we’re at ‘Kissing You Goodbye’; a break in the harsh melodies but just as blunt and dangerous. The song almost feels like its half way from pleading and standing ground. ‘Sold My Soul’ is deceivingly pop and clever. Definitely a song you stop to listen to. Best part? You actually get something from it.

Then we come to ‘Watered Down’. When I first listened to ‘Watered Down’ I thought it was too pop but it again was deceiving. The lyrics are affirming and honest and I really ended up thinking it was one of the best of the album. ‘On The Cross’ instantly makes you stand attention. Sung accusingly and again blunt and dangerous, it breaks into a melodic period then snaps you right back to the accusing harshness of the beginning. Great song no doubt and meaningful which instantly is a plus.

Then it’s ‘Come Undone’; a seriously catchy song with a punk’s anarchic edge and a repetitive verse of “I’ll be the end that you deserve”. You want to rally in there with him. Even if you don’t know the cause.

Now we’re at ‘Meant to Die’; a song that feels like the singer grabbed you by the shoulders and sings it to your face like he’s telling you something then runs off ranting. This song makes you want to sing along or at least keep the beat. ‘The Best of Me’ starting with a long quiet intro snaps into a truly ‘Used’ rhythm.

The song is sung cruelly as if to someone from your past you’d rather forget. Which is what the song is about. It’s well written and catchy but also harsh with a few periods with a hardcore edge.

The last song on the 11 track album ‘Men Are All The Same’ is dangerous, gritty, raw and truthful with a metal edge and cleverly written lyrics. A great way to end the album as it repeats lyrics from earlier tracks like ‘Kissing You Goodbye’. It’s the perfect nightcap.

The used is incredibly talented and it shines through on this album. It comes with a DVD with interviews and exclusive footage of the making of ‘Artwork’ where you can hear the bands thoughts on the album and their thoughts on the future. Definitely worth your time.

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