Written by Killian O’Neil
Anyone who’s a music lover is always searching for that next album; the record you can play on over and over and never get sick of. Heartwork is exactly that.
The Used has made a masterpiece of their eighth full-length studio album with longtime friend and producer, John Feldmann. Feldmann signed The Used to Reprise Records back in 2002 and is responsible for producing their self-titled album as well as Maybe Memories, In Love and Death, and many more. Feldmann and The Used have a chemistry that is undeniable. Anyone who has been a huge Used fan from day one (like I admittedly have) will love the synergy between the dynamic team that is showcased within.
While listening to the record it’s a collection of rock, grunge, pop, heavy breakdowns (that honestly, we have all missed) and so much more. For all the “hard-core Used fans” reading this, you sure are in for a treat…
Heartwork is pure alchemy. From the very start, with “Paradise Lost, a Poem by John Milton” you can hear the old sound of The Used, and as the tracks roll on, you almost start to question which album of theirs you are listening to.
Let’s not forget a few guest artists make appearances as well. Travis Barker from Blink-182 to Jason Allen Butler from Fever 333 just to name a few. The haunting themes of love, addiction, depression, and politics are threaded together throughout the entire album. There isn’t a song that’s not relatable on some platform nor are any songs alike.
This record has heavy flavors of In Love And Death and Lies For The Liars between the vulnerability, pop-esque, and breakdowns. Something I noticed while listening to Heartwork is that it brought me back to the sound they had in the early 2000s but with a splash of 2020 character. One of the many things that set The Used apart from other bands in their genre is that they stayed relevant after 20 years, remain true to who they are as artists, but they don’t give a fuck about what is “popular” or what will “sell.”
The Used touches on real issues thematically and are not timid to speak their truth, which can be a very rare thing to find in this world. They’re a once-in-a-lifetime band that continues to deliver the real and raw emotions of what is going on in the world around them without hesitation.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve come across a song that actually moves me to tears and that’s exactly what the closing track, “To Feel Something” did for me. 2019 was a very rocky and life-changing year for me (and I think for many of us) so when I heard “To Feel Something” it hit me hard and I was able to relate to every lyric.
Isn’t that what music is about? Hearing a song for the first time and instantly connecting to it. Sometimes that is all you need to make it through the day. The Used raised the bar for themselves and I can’t wait to see what they put out next with how elegantly they created Heartwork.
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