Sound — 4
When you first hit play, you will be quite surprised, for a few seconds that is. The first track The Ripper" starts with a nice '70s disco feel, and a nice heavy scream. That's when the album starts going downhill. You will easily and quickly notice how generic every single song is. Synthesizers and layered vocals are all present, but that is not longer what makes an album. We then move to "Pretty Handsome Awkward", weirdly enough the guitar playing reminds me instantly of the previous track. The Chorus again is a poppy chorus that many can find soothing, or sing-a-long-able. But after listening to these two tracks it is clear that Bert has changed is vocal style to copy other (more popular) bands. There really aren't any truly standout songs like their previous albums. The Bird and the worm, is probably the closest to the Used that we know and love. If you liked "Lunacy Fringe" and "Back of your mouth" then this album is for you.
Lyrics — 4
"Lyrics" are again, generic, they may simply be targeting the My Chemical Romance fans, and that may be a smart thing to do because they have become quite successful. We all know that Bert could have a decent singing voice, but do we want a rock band like The Used to sing, or scream!
Overall Impression — 3
The first two albums were great, and I'm sure we all thought that the used at this point know exactly what to do in order to make the fans happy. However it seems that they don't, because this album is lacking in many categories. The heaviness of Box Full Of Sharp Objects and Buried Myself Alive is totally gone. The sweet singing of I caught Fire is lacking, and it is just not The Used that we loved. Finally the closing track "Smother Me" seems like a decent closer, but you won't catch me hitting repeat on my ipod. The album is too fake, The Used seems to be trying to find their identity all over again, gold selling albums weren't enough for these guys so here we are. If you like Linkin Park's "Minutes To Midnight" you might just enjoy this. Avril Lavignes' girlfriend would fit into the fakeness of this album. If it were stolen, I would probably have it returned to me in a few days.