The Used
The Used


5.0
classic

Review

by Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (108 Reviews)
October 10th, 2012 | 138 replies | 8,248 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Used get everything right on their flawless debut.

In today’s music scene, The Used don’t exactly stand out from the pack. They seem to have brief moments of success, only to be forgotten again a few months later. They made a huge impression in 2007 with their successful hit ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward‘, but seem to have lost fans in the transition between their last album Artwork and their most recent effort Vulnerable. Neither of these releases are bad, but the band seems to have lost that certain spark they had on their earlier work. They’re one of those bands that unfortunately, will never top their debut. That’s not as bad as it sounds however, as their debut is a flawless effort.

I’m not sure how The Used managed to get everything right on their first album, but they did. Their self titled album has everything a post hardcore fan could want, from the well timed screams to the variety of song structures. Much like Emery and Silverstein, the band is good at mixing the sweet and the sour. Some songs are aggressive such as the frantic opener ‘Maybe Memories’, while others such as ‘On My Own’ are downright beautiful and show off the singing voice of Bert McCracken. In their ten years as a band, he’s never sounded as surreal as on this album. He also transitions between the clean vocals and the screams flawlessly so he doesn’t sound as awkward as most singers of the genre.

Aside from the vocals, the instrumentation is also better than one would expect. ‘Say Days Ago’ is packed with energy and pounding drums, but gets better towards the end with guitars that absolutely shred alongside McCracken’s screams. However, there’s not a bad song on the entire album and each one showcases solid musicianship. The lyrics are also better than their later work and although they’re not amazing, they fit the album perfectly. Some songs are dark and full of angst, while others are surprisingly optimistic. No need to spoil the lyrics, but let’s just say this album contains some of the band’s most honest and sincere lyrical themes.

Whether you’re a big fan of the genre or not is besides the point. The Used is the album that’s likely to even please those who don’t like the band’s other material. Their later albums seem to have good songs and some even give us a glimpse of their glorious past, but they are weighed down by unnecessary filler and too much experimentation. This is simply not the case on the band’s debut. It knew exactly what it wanted to be and adhered to more of a straight up rock sound. Unfortunately, they will likely never top this gem, but at least we can always go back to it and cross our fingers.



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user ratings (1101)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Here's a link to 'Maybe Memories'. (the opening track)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03BKu7fjB-Y

Digging: The Who - Tommy

YoYoMancuso
October 9th 2012



10885 Comments


5? that's a bit steep. review was well written though, i'll pos.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Mancuso, yeah lol I have it as a 4.5 but I decided screw it. It's their best album, their never gonna top it, every song is good. So it's a classic ;)

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



49801 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And if you want me baaack you're gonna have to AAASSSSKKKKKKK

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

YoYoMancuso
October 9th 2012



10885 Comments


haha well you explained yourself well so what the hell

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

NICER THAN THAT..NICER THAN THAAHAHATHT.

Ecnalzen
October 9th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, but a 5? Damn. The only songs I remember really liking from this are The Taste of Ink and Box of Sharp Objects.

cb123
October 9th 2012



1993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A Box Full Of Sharp Objects was my favourite song for a decent chunk of time when this came out

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Ecnalzen, well the album already had two 4.5 reviews so...

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2012



4382 Comments


I've never heard this band's music, but I've heard very good things about them.

Another good review, man. POS'd.

Calc
October 9th 2012



12022 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bert hasn't dropped in quality at all over ten years which is amazing considering the kind of music he has to sing. The only other guy remotely comparable off the top of my head his Keith Buckley

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks again paperback

@everyone else, these 3.5's are making me sad

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



49801 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dude it's post-hardcore album how could I give it any higher than a 3.5

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol that's harsh

bloc
October 9th 2012



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this album is fantastic. The drums on this are unheard of in the genre.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



49801 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nah I'm pretty sure other post-hardcore bands have heard of drums

bloc
October 9th 2012



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

But the creativity and chops, you fool

Bramladesh
October 9th 2012



55 Comments


Nice review, one of my favourite albums from my childhood for sure.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2012



19465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks mine too man

Ecnalzen
October 9th 2012



6398 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I just never really liked them. Only a few songs here and there stood out to me. I have seen them live though (they weren't the band I went to see), and they put on a hell of a show.



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