The Used took all of the best elements from their last three albums, tossed them in a jar, shook them up and poured out their newest release, Artwork. This most recent project is arguably their best album to date.
The record still features The Used’s typical “I hate the world and life sucks” attitude, but this time, they’ve wrapped it up with a nice, well-crafted bow. Tracks like “Blood on my Hands” and “Meant to Die” have all of the elements of The Used’s screaming, pissed-off life view. On the other side, the record also has almost pop-inspired ballads like the album’s hit single “Watered Down,” and “Empty with You,” a song that boasts a chorus with the lyrics “You could be empty/And I can be right here empty with you/Or you can be hollow/And I can be right here hollow with you.”
That’s pretty much as close to gushy, mainstream love poetry as The Used is going to get (not to mention the fact that it sounds like a line from Twilight).
What’s impressive about this album is the fact that any of the songs could potentially be radio hits. The Used successfully created an album of all solid songs, without completely losing their gritty, angry vibe. It would have been nice if they had been a little more creative with the intricacies of the writing, though. While Artwork is certainly not the best album of the year, The Used created a winner.
3 out of 4 Stars