The Used - In Love And Death (Cover Artwork)

The Used

In Love And Death (2004)


The Used continue with the predictable "screamo" chlichés on their latest offering. While their self-titled debut showed a sense of urgency and unpredictability that was missing from the genre, this release captures everything safe about this (somewhat) new style of rock music (I can't think of a name to call it).

With John Feldman manning the controls again, this record finds all the similar aspects of the self-titled in place. The tight snare drum and crisp guitars as well as Bert's high-pitched screams working back and forth with his awkard voice. What the problem really is here is that the band doesn't have a strong set of songs to back up their sound with. Sure, "Take It Away" is a charging lead single, and tracks like "I Caught Fire" and "All That I've Got" will probably be on radio for months on end, but elsewhere, there isn't too much to write home about. Songs like "Yesterday's Feeling" and "Let It Bleed" are simply too middle-of-the-road to ask for any more listens. There a lot of mid-tempo part ballad/part rockers that all seem to blend into one after a while.

When The Used decide to kick up the energy a notch they find mixed results. "Sound Effects And Overdramatic" brings an intense, charging force to the record that was lacking from tracks 2-8. However, "I'm A Fake" contains the most trite, boring, cliché spoken-word intro that encompasses everything about the "emo" genre (cutting, bleeding, fucking, etc.) that we're all sick of.

This band still has potential and a smart move would have been to place more fleshed-out, interesting tracks along with the radio-friendly tracks that would both guarantee some airplay along with some artistic credibility. Unfortunately, the band was too afraid to stray from the formula that has been done to death over the last few years