The Used
In Love and Death


4.0
excellent

Review

by Acanthus USER (46 Reviews)
November 19th, 2011 | 71 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An extremely enjoyable listen for what many would call the wrong reasons.

Sophomore releases find many band's in an interesting place, as debuts receive what must seem like a god awful amount of criticism and/or praise. In Love and Death see's The Used pulling out the emotional stops, melding vocal aggression with a sense of loss to create a listening experience the band has never been able to recreate. Looking back it might seem like something quite juvenile, but it's hard to deny the slightly dark catchiness of such an endeavor.

Opening on a hard note, “Take It Away” instantly sets the tone of the album. With it's tasteful use of opening samples and the foreboding click of a shotgun being pumped it serves as a high octane introduction to the rather bipolar album. The repeated lines take my hand/take my life/take it away might initially turn some listeners off, and if such is the case it's highly unlikely that they would have enjoyed the remainder of the album as the group holds no qualms in regards to repeated, simple lyrics.

“Take It Away” “I Caught Fire” and “Let It Bleed” rarely turn down the tempo, the three combining into an interesting mix of angst, loss, death, and deranged laughing. While not initially apparent on subsequent listens these could be compared to the initial emotional response of many a teenager; anger. When viewed in this regard the slow semi-acoustic tendencies of “All That I've Got” are similar to that of an emotional breakdown, draining the anger and letting the feeling of loss be seen.

This mix of highs and lows is seen often, as some tracks bludgeon the audience with screams (“Sound Effects and Overdramatics”), others with driving guitars (“Listening”), while still others prove that the band is far from infallible vocally (“Cut Up Angels”). The tracks are arranged in an order that recalls the act of a harsh break up, with uplifting moments hitting right after the seemingly lowest of lows. In Love and Death does a remarkable job of maintaining an overall sound that is not too much pop, nor too much [insert tag]-hardcore; it's just distinctly The Used.

Out of all this the simple honesty of “Lunacy Fringe” helps the track stands tall. With no screaming and not a single upper range wail to be seen the decidedly catchy swing of the track is hard to ignore. Featuring some of the more honest and therefor relatable lyrics, “Lunacy Fringe” plays with the emotions of feeling lost, worthless, stepped on, yet slightly hopeful that love is possible again; I'm so far gone now/I've been running on empty/I'm so far gone now/do you want to take me on? remains an extremely real sentiment, no matter how childish it may seem on paper, and makes the song a highlight of the album.

When the final exclamation of fake!!! slowly dies the world The Used crafted shatters and reality rushes in. In Love and Death is an extremely enjoyable listen for what many would call the wrong reasons, but this shouldn't hold any newcomer back from it's emotional ride. Many other artists have tried to pull the same emotional card, but it seems shallow when compared to the rather more detrimental and permanent loss of a loved one and child. While not quite perfect In Love and Death is something that, if heard at the right time, can become an instant favorite.



Recent reviews by this author
Gary Numan Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)Ryan Amon Elysium
Shpongle Museum of ConsciousnessAnamanaguchi Endless Fantasy
Sneaker Pimps Becoming RemixedJuno Reactor The Golden Sun Of The Great East
user ratings (1048)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
battleinthenorth (2)
Dull and uninspired follow up to a masterpiece...

Julio Babilonia (2.5)
A forgettable album that doesn't reflect what The Used can do....

mestfckers (3)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In Love and Death is... poppier? That's the reviewers take on an album recorded after the overdose and subsequent death of lead singer Bert McCracken's ex-girlfriend, who was also pregnant with his child? Really? I've had issues with all the previous reviews of this, it's gone on far too long without a (hopefully) cohesive effort.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

foreverendeared
November 19th 2011


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pop

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^_^

I don't have the groups first or third albums, didn't enjoy them enough. This was my introduction to the band, and is a favorite.

foreverendeared
November 19th 2011


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was my first foray into the bands work as well and still remains my favorite.

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't mention it in the review, but I love the collaboration on "Under Pressure" that was put on the re-release.

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's very hit or miss, I can understand.

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A friend loved them so I listened and was hooked, it got played constantly for almost a semester. It IS overwhelmingly emotional, I don't listen to it often but only occasionally now.

Relinquished
November 19th 2011


25211 Comments


All That I've Got was my and my best friend's song

but then we grew up and found another song

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My friends an I have always enjoyed other musical tastes strangely.

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've never had any issues with it, the opening is rather interesting imo.

foreverendeared
November 19th 2011


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:[ The corny factor on this is endearing to me.

foreverendeared
November 19th 2011


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:]

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

By far one of the more interesting review threads I've had, I'll have to review more disputed albums more often.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2011


50553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I haven't heard this in years
The self titled is so much better

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wouldn't be able to stand listening through either of them tbh

AsoTamaki
November 19th 2011


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice. I always really liked this album and I usually hate this type of music.

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's extremely situational for me, but this is good.

AsoTamaki
November 19th 2011


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There's some quality stuff on here. It's the one album that my emo bassist friend and I could agree on back in high school.

pizzamachine
November 19th 2011


12571 Comments


You are a great reviewer Acanthus. :]

Acanthus
November 19th 2011


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm a slow, picky reviewer sir!

I thank you for the kind words :]



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy