Album number four finds Bert McCraken and the Used back with their patented hard, guitar-driven riffs and passionate, introspective lyrics. Though, with Artwork, the volatility of past albums has been replaced with a more structured approach, comprising ten big-chorus, sing-along tracks and an emo ballad.
The electronic accents of 2007's Lies for the Liars have been dismissed for more of a "rock" album. Songs range from the AFI-sounding "Blood on My Hands" to "Kissing You Goodbye," which would fit on a soft-rock compilation next to REO Speedwagon. Fans of their earlier material will be glad to find that the band limits the sugary power ballads here.
Artwork is looser on the production side of things than their previous two releases, which is a welcome change, but it's not exactly the scream fest of their 2002 self-titled debut.
Fans of the Used will not be disappointed, but they won't be wowed either. Artwork is an entertaining listen, but none of the tracks are memorable. Nothing grabs you by the throat, but give it a few spins and it may grow on you.
Album title: Artwork
Artist: The Used
Songs: (1) Blood on My Hands (2) Empty with You (3) Born to Quit (4) Kissing You Goodbye (5) Sold My Soul (6) Watered Down (7) On the Cross (8) Come Undone (9) Meant to Die (10) The Best of Me (11) Men Are All the Same