- Audio CD (Sept. 17 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Enhanced
- Label: Reprise
- ASIN: B000069HK2
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 244 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,128 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The Used Enhanced
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Customers who bought this item also bought
|1. Maybe Memories|
|2. The Taste Of Ink|
|4. Say Days Ago|
|5. Poetic Tragedy|
|6. Buried Myself Alive|
|7. A Box Full Of Sharp Objects|
|8. Blue And Yellow|
|9. Greener With The Scenery|
|10. Noise And Kisses|
|11. On My Own|
|12. Pieces Mended|
You want intensity? Check out The Used on the Warped and OzzFest tours, and on the band's self-titled debut album. They've given everything to music - relationships, day jobs, everything. They've overcome homelessness, substance abuse and closed-minded environs. Sure they've frightened club owners in their native Utah, what with all the blood and puke as singer Bert McCracken prowls the stage singing and screaming as if jockeying for an aneurysm. But you said you wanted intensity. So now you got it.
Being born and raised in the ultra conservative Mormon stronghold of Orem, Utah, obviously had a profound affect on the Used. As well as confirming them as worthy rivals to Linkin Park, Nickelback and Puddle of Mudd, their splenetic debut album vents a lifetime's worth of bottled up neuroses and unresolved anger, in fervent defiance of their hometown's quiet reserve. With singer Bert McCracken schizophrenically flicking between the passive voice of reason and distraught screamer, their manic assault certainly doesn't pull any punches as they bitterly exorcise failed relationships via the likes of "Buried Myself Alive", which careers from mild mannered hurt, to jack hammer guitars and a blood curdling banshee wail of "If you want me back you're gonna have to ask nicer than that." For sure the stop/start, quiet/loud formula is as old as the hills, but they use it better than most. When they let loose and the screaming starts, the pain and anguish is palpable. Combine that with the huge, unshakable shout-along choruses of "The Taste of Ink", "Noise and Kisses" and "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" and the net result is joyously cathartic. --Dan Gennoe
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The album starts out with "Maybe Memories" where the guys explode onto the scene with a raging rock number. "Taste Of Ink" Is the reason why I first listened to these guys, its a pop-punk type song with really cool vocals and a super catchy riff, but the chorus still allows for some hardcore sound. My fave song on the album by far. "Bulimic" is more emocore, but has a really good guitar riff and is basically a "GOODBYE" song in a rash way.
For the album "Say Days Ago" is a bit different as its more screamo-style, but it kinda reminds me of the coast with the guitar work, like almost ska-inspired. In a huge contrast is the track "Poetic Tragedy" which almost comes off as work of poetry, filled with emotion and nice sounds and that really all make sense. Note the little parisian sample played throughout. "Buried Myself Alive" is another one of the rockish tracks but it doesn't stand out aht much to me, altho it does vary greatly throughotu from a strong beginning to a mellower verse (Similar to Abandoned Pools) and going into an angsty chorus, much like "The Taste Of Ink".
"A Box Full Of Sharp Objects" has a Hoobstank-esque riff throughout and is just a rock track basically. "Blue and Yellow" relives the mellow sound again, but this time its a little bit more uptempo with piano backings and a dreamy-sound-effects voice for most of it. It just kinda flows nicely. "Greener With Scenery" is kind've Incubus inspired, with a nice challenging guitar part throughout but again they rock out here and there, not before employing a string orchestra to play throughout. I really like "Noise and Kisses" because its similar to track two, with good vocals you can make out, and a catchy feel over all.
"On My Own" is the softest track on the album and a nice moprh for the band to showcase their skills. Acoustic guitar, sweet lyrics, and soft vocals make this a song worthy of Chris Carrabba (Can't spell his last name). In sharp contrast, "Pieces Mended" just rocks out for one last time more or less before the rockin' finale hidden track "Choke Me"
Overall the Used display a number of styles on this album all within the emo/punk/rock genre, and the screeching of the lead singer isn't particularly bad, it adds to the unique style htis band possesses. I'd reccommend it for a few songs, but maybe not the whole album is my thing.
The album's appeal is two-fold. First and most obvious, the fantastic music. Bert McCracken's outstanding "screamo" vocals and revealing lyrics, on top of the best punk/emo/nu-metal music of the year 2002. Second, the flawless (and I mean FLAWLESS) production of "The Used" album. John Feldman is a genious. I find his songwriting simple yet pleasing. Goldfinger has been an underlying factor in the success of punk music for years, but who knew that Feldman's talent lay in his production skills?
After Warner Brothers' insipid commercialization of the first single "Box Full of Sharp Objects," hopefully exposure from the Ozzfest and Warped Tour and maybe a little airtime on MTV for "The Taste of Ink" could result in more picking up their art. If not, then we have an unsung, underground classic on our hands. The range of this album's music- from the whimsy "Poetic Tragedy" to the hardhitting "Maybe Memories;" from the gorgeous "Blue and Yellow" to the chaoticly grotesque hidden track- has been matched by few other bands in the genre. All things considered, this is one of the 3 best albums of the year. I found this years release of "What It Is to Burn" by Finch to be the best punk album I'd ever heard. A few months later, this was brought to my attention by my drummer.
The Used's success is bitter sweet; their introduction to the music industry was almost by luck. It all seems to be about connections. With the right ones, you'll make it. With none, you'll be playing local shows for the rest of your days. I hope the more talented bands (however "underground" they may be) can get the exposure they deserve. A state like Utah still has many diamonds in the rough (The Given, Silvercrush, The World Waits), as do a myriad of locations across the nation. California seems to take credit for the lot of it. I hope this will open more eyes... er, ears.
Excellent record: 8 out of 10.
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