On April 24th, The Used finally released their much anticipated 8th studio album HEARTWORK. The band has been inching up to the forthcoming record for months now with single releases Paradise Lost, a poem by John Milton, Blow Me (feat. Jason Aalon Butler) and their latest single Cathedral Bell.
The Used has always made every album from front to back exciting because of their use of dynamics and unpredictability in their writing and arrangement. Songs aren't your typical intro, verse, chorus, repeat structure and take the listener for a ride which is exactly what HEARTWORK does from top to bottom.
The album takes off like bat of hell in typical Used fashion with opening track and single Paradise Lost. The opening number is definitely a test to the band's creativity as it's a a tribute to poet John Milton and based after the lyrics of his poem. Following that is Blow Me (feat. Jason Aalon Butler) which was the first single the band dropped back in December of 2019 and is like nothing I've ever heard from the band yet it sounds so familiar because something that I've learned with over 15 years of listening to The Used is to expect the unexpected which is exactly what tracks like BIG WANNA BE, single Cathedral Bell and Clean Cut Heals deliver with an almost industrial rock like feel to the songs with big roomy drums, industrial style beats overtop almost distorted vocals at times.
Songs like "Darkness Bleeds, FOTF" and the ironic titled "Wow, I Hate This Song" make you love both tracks for their reminiscent throwback vibe given on earlier Used albums especially debut self-titled record and and In Love and Death. Not all tracks are total throwbacks with songs like "My Cocoon" and "Bloody Nose" taking the listener for a trippy, mellow yet haunting ride with sweeping sounds, insane harmonies and beast crescendos that seem to get bigger and bigger.
In total contrast to that are songs like "The Lottery" and "Gravity's Rainbow" which are fast, aggressive and hit you in the face like a train at full speed. My most biased and absolute favorite tracks on the album have to be The Lighthouse and Obvious Blase' featuring Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker of blink-182 respectively. The Lighthouse is a totally mellow, almost pop song with electronic drum sounds. The contrast of Bert's high vocals and Hoppus' low voice are an amazing combination. The song builds throughout with that signature Used crescendo technique until the latter half of the song is one big emotional rollercoaster. Obvious Blase' goes in the opposite direction with a pretty straight forward rock song until you add the element of Travis Barker's insane ability to take a simple song and turn it into something extraordinary.
But hey! That's my opinion, you can listen to HEARTWORK now and decide for yourself! https://theused.ffm.to/heartwork
You can check out The Used's latest single "CATHEDRAL BELL" below!
THE USED - CATHEDRAL BELL
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