The Used - In Love and Death {Warner Brother Records}
By: Amnesty Phillip

In the summer of 2002, Utah branded quartet, The Used, embraced us with one of the best "emo-screamo hardcore" albums known today. This album only caused the band to be a well known favorite amongst thousands and prompted them to score a main stage slot on the 2003 Vans Warped Tour and an opening slot on the 2004 Projekt Revolution Tour.

Having achieved such success, the wait for the new album was one of the most anticipated albums of Fall 2004. Upon the release of the album, the band released their first single, "Take It Away" in the spring of 04. The song seemed to be a promising preview of what to expect from the band in the fall. On September 28th, the wait came to an end and the band dropped their sophomore release, entitled "In Love and Death."

As soon as you put this album in your CD player, you couldn't help bust notice that something has changed. Their first self-titled album was overflowing with hardcore melodic songs, which showcased the Used at their best, while the new album was lacking a bit in the hardcore department, possibly causing disappointment to the old-school Used fans.

However, it is emotionally better than the first album. In ballads such as, "I Caught Fire (In Your Eyes)" and "It's Hard To Say" singer Bert McCracken proves that he is capable of singing heart-felt songs without screaming which actually makes his amazing voice stand out.

While the band has melowed out a bit, the album has a unique twist to it. It has two sides that are clearly visable. The new side of course, showing the new-softer Used and the hardcore side showing the old-aggressive Used. In tracks such as, "Sound Effects and Overdramatics" and the album's stand out track, "I'm A Fake" it shows that Bert still has his amazing talent to scream that made everyone fall in love with them in the first place.

The new album in my opinion is another masterpiece created by one of the most well-respected-rising bands. The Used definitely have what it takes to make it in the industry today. Although, it doesn't really match up to their first release, this album is highly worth paying $13 and I highly reccommend checking them out.