October 5, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 47°F


‘Vulnerable’: Alternative group trades in angst for maturity

The Used’s developed sound in their fifth studio album, “Vulnerable,” has certainly come a long way from the raging days of their self-titled debut to their current, more mature sound.

For some, the more contemporary rock feel of the album is a refreshing change from their previously ruthless sound. However, the change may not impress many of the original fans who admire the band for their usual creepy yet angst-driven lyrics.

Unlike their first few albums, “Vulnerable” is truly a transformation  to a more positive attitude. A ballad like “Getting Over You” gives fans a different perspective of lead singer Bert McCracken’s singing ability, which is completely stripped of its usual force and replaced with a softer tone.

One of the more surprising bits from the album is “Shine,” an upbeat track that showcases McCracken’s ability to belt out self-reassuring anthems that seem almost unprecedented in The Used’s history of seething vibes.

“Put Me Out” is perhaps the closest song that could still relate to the band’s old hardcore sound. The beginning sequence blasts with McCracken’s growl, giving loyal fans the screamo vibe that they are familiar with in this experimental album. Similarly, “Now That You’re Dead” offers the same window to the past with a cryptic start to the melody that has previously defined the sound of the band. The lead’s abrasive vocals follow the creepy beginning, channeling the youthful angst that he’s provided his fans in previous albums.

The Used has made a fresh start with “Vulnerable.” With the album displaying varying sounds, the band shows off its ability to hold onto previous rigor while grasping a different sound that offers not just edgy music, but incorporates a similar sound they’ve experimented with in past albums.