Review Summary: A forgettable album that doesn't reflect what The Used can do.
After a very well received first album, The Used was seen as a band with a lot of potential. In Love and Death was expected to demonstrate that potential, and to show the public that this is a serious band with really good music and a lot of talent. Unfortunately, although they didn’t fail miserably, they fell awfully short of what was expected.
With this album, The Used moved into a more pop sound, and although that isn’t necessarily bad, they did it in a mediocre fashion. Musically, this change was a step back from the first album. The guitars don’t do much to stand out and don’t work too well in the slow songs. The drums are one of the good things of the album; they always find a way to stand out, even in the ballads. With In Love and Death, The Used went for catchiness and more simplicity in other to have a more “radio-friendly” sound, but in the process they left behind the great musical structures and excellent melodies that were found in the first album. There are songs like Take It Away
and Sounds Effect and Overdramatics
where their great musical talent is demonstrated in a big manner, but instead of making an album with many songs like these, they did the complete opposite.
Most of the songs in the album are slowed paced, and ballads that tend to be boring and largely devoid of energy. There are some songs like I’m A Fake
that are energetic and catchy, but with horrible lyrics full of clichés; another example of this is the song Cut Up Angels
. It’s hard to listen to a song that goes over and over:
“Just look at me, look at me now.
I’m a fake, I’m a fake, I’m a fake”
Even so, this album is not all bad. The vocals are very well done and fit perfectly with the songs; same goes with the screams. It’s a shame that most of the songs are slow or ballads because the vocals don’t shine as much as they do in fast and louder songs. They would have been even better with a litle more energy, but nevertheless they are still great. Another positive thing of the album is that the faster paced and louder songs, with the exception of I’m A Fake
, are all great. Even though they are few, at least they made them really good and very enjoyable. There are also some standouts in the ballads. I Caught Fire
, All I’ve Got
, and Hard to Say
are really beautiful songs that, even though their lyrics aren’t anything special and once in a while sound like a 14 years old’s poem, the listener can still very much enjoy. Finally, the last good point of the album is the Under Pressure
cover with My Chemical Romance.
All in all, this album is a big disappointment to all the people who expected big things from this band. However, there are still some great stuff that give hope that The Used can find themselves and with their next album show the public that they weren’t wrong when they though that this band had a lot of talent and potential. An album that will probably have a lot of radio play, this isn’t a reflection of what The Used can do. If you like mainstream pop-rock stuff them chances are you are going to like this, but if that isn’t the case I advice The Used’s first album.
Take It Away
I Caught Fire
All That I've Got
Sound Effects and Overdramatics
This review is dedicated to my grandmother. RIP
Always remembered, in love and death.