Reviewed! The Used - 'Artwork'

The Used
Reprise Records

The Used have long been known for a few things – bug guitars and even bigger vocals, something the band spares no expense for on their latest, and fourth studio album to date, ‘Artwork.’ These guys have always been good, but they have yet to be this good.

‘Artwork’ isn’t just a clever title for this record, it’s also very apt. ‘Artwork’ is just that, a work of art, when it comes to a Used release. It is a record that has a definite beginning (‘Blood on My Hands’) and ending (‘Men Are All the Same’), which also classify as two of the best cuts off the disc entirely. With ‘Artwork’ you’re guaranteed are cord that comes out hot, starting incredibly strong, and finishes as such. How about the middle ground you ask? You’re wondering what the meat and potatoes of ‘Artwork’ sounds like? Well, that’s easy. ‘Artwork’ on the whole registers as the bands best-rounded disc, even more so than their blazing eponymous debut. As a matter of fact, many fans should find ‘Artwork’ as the bands penultimate work to date, an even mixture of everything the boys have accomplished musically to date.

If you liked the sheer balls-out attitude and unabashed fury of their 2002 debut, skip to ‘Meant to Die’ and ‘The Best of Me.’ If you find yourself siding more with the bands heavier take on radio friendly alt-pop rock tracks, then ‘Born to Quit’ and ‘Watered Down’ should be right up your alley. Hell, are you sitting there in the mood for a ballad? Well, you’re in luck because ‘Artwork’ has you covered. ‘Kissing You Goodbye’ will satisfy your hunger, although you might be thinking more My Chemical Romance than the Used while listening. Oh, and if you are looking for a track with a fantastic hook, make sure you pay attention to everything track on ‘Artwork.’

The Used has always had a surefire skill at crafting pinpoint accurate hooks, no matter what style song they are playing. But they obviously paid attention to the hooks of ‘Artwork.’ They are easily the bands best collection of songs to date.

Hey scenesters – if you pass on this album because you think the Used ardent heavy enough anymore, you clearly don’t know good music when you hear it or a good record when it is staring at you from the other side of the speakers.

Grade: A
Listen to: ‘Men Are All the Same’