Sound — 6
I have never been a very huge fan of The Used, but I have noticed the works that they have created these past few years. But at this point, I have noticed how a number of people have been saying that this band is now irrelevant. While their first two albums have been claimed their best works by a number of fans, there will still be some people who have enjoyed some of their more recent works. I, for one enjoyed "Vulnerable" due to the fact that it was different. They weren't trying to rehash material from any album, but instead throw in some synths, vocal effects, etc. To keep the listener interested. All at the same time, that album was much different to their previous works. I thought it was a great album to jam out to, especially once summer hit. This album, on the other hand, seems to have taken a lot of that catchy, chorus driven tracks that was present on "Vulnerable" and basically make it more boring.
Lyrics — 5
Bert has his way of attracting an audience, vocally. Bert has not lost his touch in the vocal section. But the things that you should expect from this album, lyrically, are pop-driven choruses repeated over and over again. Take the very first track from the album, "Revolution," for example.
"This is the end
Calling for revolution
Burn: like a fire in the rain."
Basically, the song is just boring. To continue the cheesy, boring descriptions, "A Song to Stifle Imperial Progression (A Work in Progress)" has a great message, but holy crap, was the song overdone to all hell. Basically, the song is about the war on drugs, and poverty. But the main line, "We're sayin no way, no way USA." is literally driven into my skull. The chanting is also present on the next track, "Generation Throwaway." This is literally the most poppy form of The Used that I have ever seen. I could definitely imagine hearing this song on the radio, while my ears bleed. Probably one of the few highlights on the album, and not even a major highlight, comes from "Evolution":
"Call me a traitor for changing my mind
Call me a criminal if thinking's a crime
Call me an animal, it's hard to define
Don't care what you say: I came to defy.
I've come so far."
Overall Impression — 5
I really don't have a favorite track from this album, but if anything, it would be between "Evolution" or "Force Without Violence." I don't know if this album compares to other artists, in all honesty. The album really has a lot of lows. At least with "Vulnerable," it did not sound like a bunch of noise, with a pop-driven chorus on just about every single track. This album just feels like an uninspired mess. If there were cooler guitar licks, then I could possibly give this album a bit more justice, but that's not happening.