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Album Review: The Used - Vulnerable

After a rather long wait, The Used decided to take matters into their own hands with what would become their latest offering – "Vulnerable", breaking free from the grips of Reprise Records and creating their own label and with it a new platform from which they could launch their new album into the ears of the listener with a spring in its step that comes from the freedoms of independence that are rarely simulated elsewhere.

And the legacy of the band is deemed worthy of continuing even in the first few seconds of the almost Nightmare before Christmas-esque onslaught of what is a rock and roll soup melting pot of sorts; the first track, "I Come Alive" with dubstep elements even making an intrusion. The dance genre intelligently adding a strange spice to the explosive musical texture of an ambitious introduction, one which as it turns out, is a good idea of the shape of things to come.

This album is filled with a diversity of musical elements penetrating a mesh of alternative rock and a pure marriage of power and talent from a band that has let to lose its touch, whether strings are playing an Eleanor Rigby-stylised verse to strong second track "This Fire", which carries off the same intense heat as the flame its name harkens to, ska-inspired rhythms, a tightly knit anthem that begs the subject to ‘put [the singer] out like a cigarette’, a DJ-centered flavor in the spirit of the long-dead days of nu metal pulled from the grave to touch greatness once again or countless other features that make the list of great moments on this record so easy to continue and so hard to edit into a form that holds some sense of brevity.

It’s hard to put a handle on just how intense a listen this record is, it acts like a book that you can’t put down, a contagious and endlessly fascinating array of rock flavors that even in its cheesier moments holds sufficient integrity for a full-on audible assault when the pace is regained.

Only the deaf would struggle to find something to enjoy here.


"Vulnerable" is out now.

Edward Strickson

Alter The Press!