"Gentleman," PSY's follow-up to "Gangnam Style," has already made history.
The new album by The Used is far from Vulnerable - it is a strong, solid collection of rock songs which should propel the Utah four-piece to new levels of success.
I am ashamed to admit that this album is the first I had heard from American rock band The Used - but now that I have heard it, let me reassure you, it will not be the last.
Vulnerable is very impressive - the band’s finely-tuned, anthemic sound is hugely addictive and reminiscent of bands such as Rise Against, Skillet and Fall Out Boy.
The sound throughout this new album is powerful and uplifting - which is unexpected from an album entitled Vulnerable. Whilst listening to the album, I kept returning to the idea that The Used are producing note-perfect “festival-rock”. The band gracefully brings the heartening, roaring atmosphere which swells in these huge out-door music events to your iPod where-ever you are. And that is something to admire.
Despite their music debut being in 2001, The Used have been silent for the last couple of years, with two of the band’s members enjoying the quiet-life and using the break in their relentless touring to get married and start families. However the silence was short-lived and this year marks the start of a fresh chapter in The Used’s career - numerous festival appearances are planned, a world tour is inevitable and a DVD release is on the horizon.
And of course, they have released Vulnerable.
An album which comes highly-recommended. In one word, it’s simply enjoyable. Light-hearted songs such as This Fire and I Come Alive are melodic, stadium-filling rock songs, which I predict will be in countless soundtracks for years to come. However, this is not the case for all the songs - the album contains an ecliptic mix of genres - and songs such as Now That You’re Dead have a surprisingly raw, heavy sound which emerges mid-way though the album. This should make Vulnerable feel disjointed - however it only strengthens the package, keeping the content fresh and showing the impressive range of The Used.
The band’s lead vocalist Bert McCracken explains the mixture of sounds to be heard throughout the new album: “I think Vulnerable is really new for us. There's a lot of hip-hop influence, beats and drum and bass kind of stuff, but it's also still a Used record, by all means.”
“Just like any other Used record, it's a horse of many colors: There are a lot of soft and heavy sounds, there are a lot of brutal, sharp, bright sounds, and the tempos are anywhere from ultra-slow to super fast and heavy. There are a lot of different conceptual feelings on the record.”
Inspiration for the blend of genres throughout the album seems to originate from some unusual places. McCracken cites Chuck Palahniuk’s book Damned and Kirsten Dunst’s latest film Melancholia.
Whatever the muse, the result is astonishing. A fantastic modern-rock album which combines contemporary genres to create classic, classy tunes.