Sound — 9
I really like the approach they took at this. I think their music is really starting to mature into much more after this album. Instead of sounding like every other band in this genre, they are developing their own creative sound. One of my favorites, "The Bird and the Worm," takes a very interesting approach. Starting off slow with violins (I think) along with a few other orchestra instruments, pauses, then suddenly breaks into the main riff. I especially loved the sound of it, and the song definately stands out.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics in this werent as creative and original as in past albums, but they were what you would usually expect from Bert McCracken. As for the skills overall, I think personally he has a unique voice which is starting to come out more with this album. it's not as whiney as it usually is, which of course is good. In "Liar Liar (Burn In Hell)," the lyrics are very kiddish which mature at the same time. After repeating "Liar Liar Pants On Fire," he brings out the real meaning of the song, having to do with drug addiction and death.
Overall Impression — 9
The Used took their music in a different direction with this in a positive way. As Bert McCracken said in an interview, they tried to stray from the "screamo" aspect of their music. Although I'm a huge fan of screamo/hardcore, I liked the way they incorperated clever lyrics without the aspect of screaming. What songs mainly stood out to me were "The Ripper," "Hospital" and "The Bird And The Worm." What I didn't like about it were the more softer things, like the last track of the album, "Smother Me." I think they would be better off sticking to their alternative and almost pop kind of sound.