The Used haven’t, within highly anticipated “Lies for the Liars”, made a complete transformation from their musical style seen in their 2004 album “In Love In Death”. This isn’t to say, however, that they haven’t made significant (and, in my own opinion, positive) changes to their music. Depending on the song, various features are present in their new music that were absent from their old. Jazz-like intros and tunes, piano incorporation, heavy guitar riffs, well-meshing lead and backup vocals, and softer-toned vocals are some of the alterations that have been made to The Used’s music. However, for those of you fond of their old music, frontman Bert McCracken’s voice has the same sweet-sounding quality, the lyrics are just as groundbreaking and raw, and screaming, bitter songs are still around for this Utah-based group. Some songs have a better tune and overall musical appeal than others, but all songs are of good quality. The lyrics, as stated before, continue throughout this album to be truthful and raw, and yet they have a poetic, deep quality to them at some points as well. The album overall is of fantastic quality, and will be appreciated by new and old fans alike of the four man band consisting of Bert McCracken, Jeph Howard, Quinn Allman, and Dan Whiteside. I highly recommend this album to anyone generally interested in alternative music. Here are some descriptions detailing the musical and lyrical quality of specific tracks. Enjoy!
Track One: “The Ripper”
The opening to the first number of “Lies for the Liars” is intense and most definitely guitar-incorporated. The screeching guitar riff that introduces the album may even be described as metal-esque. Throughout this song, McCracken extends from his typically sweet-toned vocals, and his voice meshes well with that of backup vocalist/ bass guitarist Jeph (Jepha) Howard. The heavy guitar continues throughout the song, and some screaming ensues as well.
Track Two: “Pretty Handsome Awkward”
The second track contains another guitar-incorporated opening. McCracken’s vocals are intense, and the lyrics he sings are bitter and angry. The tune to this raging number is less likeable than that of the first track.
Track Three: “The Bird and The Worm”
Instead of opening with a guitar riff, the Bird and the Worm has an unusual overall, and not just for The Used, beginning, with violin and piano meshing to create an appealing old-fashioned sound. In this number, McCracken’s vocals sound more similar to those throughout “In Love and Death”. Something that seems to be a trend is Howard’s backup vocals mixing well with McCracken’s lead vocals. The lyrics that Howard and McCracken sing contain very effective metaphors and imagery, comparing a man fearful of society to a worm (“He crawls like a worm from a bird”).
Track Four: “Earthquake”
The vocals are softened within this song, as are the sometimes bitter and consistently raw lyrics. The lyrics detail difficulties within a relationship, as illustrated by the line “Have I murdered our love?”, and the instrumentals and vocals sound sad and lonely as the lyrics beg the narrator’s partner to return.
Track Five: “Hospital”
The song “Hospital” has a very unique beat, as is enhanced by the remarkable drumming within this number. The sound and lyrics are very angst-filled throughout this song, a transition from “Earthquake”. The name of the album can be found within the lyrics of this nicely tuned song (“Save the lies for the liars”), and the lyrics also seem to be regarding the plight of a sick man, as would be expected in a song titled, “Hospital”.
Track Six: “Paralyzed”
Another old-fashioned, piano-incorporated sound fills the listeners ears in the beginning of this song. A unique jazz-like sound continues throughout the track as well. The vocals throughout “Paralyzed” mesh well with the sound of the instruments. Also, the guitar riff within the middle of the song is notably well-placed and well-written.
Track Seven: “With Me Tonight”
In this song, the vocals are strong and most noticeable. The lyrics and heartbroken and unique within the chorus. “With Me Tonight” is one of my favorite songs in the entirety of the album.
Track Eight: “Wake the Dead”
A mechanical-like beginning is followed by purposefully inconsistent and intriguing vocals. The guitar within this number is very noticeable, and the number is notable in that it is the angriest sounding song on the album. As for notable details, the song features female vocals.
Track Nine: “Find a Way”
“Find a Way” starts off spewing out random sounds at the listener and slowly transitioning into soft guitar and equally soft and sweet lyrics from McCracken. There is little instrumental throughout the song, and the number is a calm one for the usually hyper-active, angst-filled lyrics of The Used. This number is very emotionally intriguing.
Track Ten: “Liar Liar Burn in Hell”
The Used’s latest album seems to contain distinctive song-openings, and “Liar Liar Burn in Hell” is no exception to this observation, as it begins with the sound of ambulance sirens and another intense guitar riff. Vocalists throughout the chorus take on a shouting tone-probably to further express the rage conveyed by the issue-tackling lyrics. The lyrics in this number are also the most explicit ones throughout all of the songs on the highly-anticipated album. The ending of this song is also very unique. The song concludes with a line from a song most commonly sung by children, and which I am sure you will recognize-“Liar, liar, pants on fire, sitting on a telephone wire”.
Track Eleven: “Smother Me”
Another piano-incorporated beginning commences this song, which is similar to “Find A Way” in that the vocals an lyrics are soft and romantic, and the vocals are softer-toned. The ending song for the Used’s new album contrasts the ending song for their second album, which concluded with a song that could be lightly described as angry. The actual conclusion of the album and “Smother Me” is very different than any song the used has ever created, however-a rap-styled song that seems to be present just for laughs, as the only lyric in the song is “quesadilla”.
Be sure to purchase “Lies for the Liars” from The Used on May 22nd, 2007!
1. The Ripper
2. Pretty Handsome Awkward
3. The Bird And The Worm
7. With Me Tonight
8. Wake The Dead
9. Find A Way
10. Liar Liar (Burn In Hell)
11. Smother Me