The Used’s “Vulnerable” :::: The Rock Tribune review
With The Used releasing their fifth studio album (titled “Vulnerable”) and their first under Hopeless Records, one can only wonder what changes (if any) can be expected. Now that they are with a new label, it seems that they have more to say with their creativity than on the last album. Since the band claims they weren’t give much room to creatively work while producing “Artwork,” it seems the opportunities are endless. Amongst twelve tracks taking up only a mere 44 minutes, one can make that judgment fairly quick.
The album starts off with their single “I Come Alive,” which is upbeat and consists of some vibes fans come to expect from these guys. As you get deeper into the album you notice a techno like influence in songs such as “Hands and Faces” and “Put Me Out.” After a couple spins of the whole album, you definitely grasp the feeling and emotion that’s offered up. Then its realized that even though the label has changed, and a slightly different sound is offered as a filler in the back ground, Bert McCracken and the guys have stayed true to themselves and the style of their writing has yet to change. The “tongue in cheek” style that past songs have been written in is evident on the sixth track “Now That You’re Dead.” The track has a mentioning of necrophilia in the lyrics. It almost makes you sit back and think “really?” It’s so captivating, you can’t help but keep listening the whole way through.
Some parts of the album cause a little music ADHD, if that’s what you want to call it. There are either parts of songs or just the whole song itself where you’re allowed to mentally wander and lose focus of the song. Example: “Hurt No One,” which pushes the listener away after the first verse making it hard to pull yourself back in after the chorus. “Getting Over You” and “Together Burning Bright” are cuts that are packed full of emotion, but unless you can keep your head wrapped around the lyrics alone throughout the whole song, little effort is needed to get side tracked.
Finally, after drowning is all twelve tracks, any listener of The Used (new or old) will be quite happy with what it has to offer. “Vulnerable” is a well written compilation of precisely constructed songs that should pull the boys from Utah out of their three year hiatus and give them an arsenal for an upcoming tour. Not saying this will be the top album at the end of 2012, but there’s a very good chance it could find itself comfortably in the top five of the hard rock charts.
– Logan Rendulic, The Rock Tribune (Pittsburgh scene)