Review by Steve K
Lead singer Bert “Cauliflower Dick” McCracken has never been one to keep his opinions to himself, and the 5th release from seminal Emo Rockers The Used is certainly no exception.
The song that stands out the most for me, is “Now That Your Dead”. I can’t get over the thought that it might be about the late, self-destructed Amy Winehouse: the subject of the narrative is a dead woman that the narrator shows complete and utter, mocking contempt for, throughout. He’s not just glad she’s dead, he’s in a complete state of schadenfreude over it. Now a lot of you reading that might find such a statement loathsome, no matter who it’s about, but it’s a statement I can personally identify with.
I’ve been there: Twice in my life someone I’ve known has died, and I’ve been glad for it. One was a former friend, the other a family member. I won’t judge McCracken if that’s how he really feels about whoever this song’s about, because I know how he feels.
The late and unlamented aren’t the only targets for McCracken’s ire, however: Family, friends and former lovers get the treatment; as does religion, with songs devoted to McCracken venting his spleen at them. But he also saves some of his most cutting remarks for himself. Time and again, almost every song makes some reference to McCracken’s self-seen inhumanity, vanity, arrogance and cruelty. The question on my mind is whether this is meant to condemn or justify his behavior.
There’s a strange tic of some kind on the album’s metadata: the last three songs are incorrectly labeled, leaving the final track’s actual name completely off the radar. It’s a shame, because that misnamed song is probably the best on the album, besides the aforementioned “Now That You’re Dead”.
For fans of the Used or fans of Rock, I think this is an album worth listening to.
The Used: Vulnerable – 9/10