Ten Years Later: The Used’s ‘In Love And Death’

the used

“Life’s greatest questions have always been: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? You are about to see and hear one of the most significant messages given to us from God.”

When I was in my elementary school years as a little boy not knowing the world yet (that is the world of music), I was a full-on Green Day and Blink-182 fan. I didn’t listen to anything else for I was in the process of learning guitar and I already felt accomplished learning all of their tracks. Then it was around 8th grade when I heard of this band called The Used. I vaguely remember putting on the New York-based rock station and hearing this band and their single “Buried Myself Alive.” The song blew me away to the point that I had to find it somewhere. Unfortunately, my parents were never keen of me listening to music that had a ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker on the CD case. So I asked one of my childhood friends if I could borrow their self-titled album and instantly I was hooked. Songs like “The Taste of Ink” and “A Box Full of Sharp Objects” really opened my eyes to the fact that you can strum the guitar harder and pound the snare drum the same way.

After becoming obsessed with the band, news came out that they were releasing their follow-up album In Love And Death. So of course I had to buy the record right when it dropped in my local record store. Right after hearing the opening monologue that starts it all off, the cocking of a shotgun is heard and “Take It Away” starts the album just right, serving as the band’s anthem and hardest song they’ve probably ever written (and one that takes a jab at My Chemical Romance, too). Then there are songs like “I Caught Fire (In Your Eyes)” and “What I’ve Got” which have served as great singles for the record in that a simple pop-rock song can still have that aggression and passion and can be defined as intricate “emo” songs.

Then there are songs that still hit me in the core to this day in “Listening” and “Lunacy Fringe” in the sense that it brings out the best memories of my personal life to present life. The heavy hitters in “Sound Effects and Overdramatics” and “Let It Bleed” show that the band was trying to make their music as heavy as possible with vocalist Bert McCracken showing off his wide screams to the point where it sends chills down my spine. But for some reason, “Yesterday’s Feelings,” “Light With A Sharpened Edge,” and “Hard To Say” really capture the band’s soft side in both their lyrics and guitarist Quinn Allman’s beautiful guitar melodies instead of usual acoustic chords.

Out of the band’s entire discography, In Love And Death really hits home for me in the most reasonable way because of the sole fact that this is the band’s most successful album. In the albums to come after, it seemed The Used went the commercial route in pumping out generic tunes in 2006’s Lies for the Liars and 2009’s Artwork. But eventually they signed to Hopeless Records and seemed to regain that passion they were missing (e.g. Vulnerable & Imaginary Enemy). I may not like the band’s later releases but I still have the utmost support and love for this album. Now I must go recite the opening monologue in “I’m A Fake” and live like it’s 2004 again!

Editorial written by Ryan Kappy

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.