The Used’s New Album Strikes Gold

Julia Knies, Staff Writer

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The American rock band The Used has released their seventh album, The Canyon, through the record label Hopeless Records. The album brings listeners back to their first records with the pure, raw, heart-wrenching emotion. Old-school fans of The Used will adore this album.

The Canyon is the first studio album featuring the guitarist Justin Shekoski, previously in the post hardcore band Saosin, since the exit of the former guitarist, Quinn Allman. The band has not released a studio album since the release of Imaginary Enemy in 2014. With a whopping 17 songs, this album comes in at an hour and 19 minutes. While the long length may turn some of the more casual listeners away, it is worth sticking through to the end. The Canyon, produced by Ross Robinson, was recorded in its entirety on tape, without the use of modern digital production and without backing tracks. It has a much more raw feeling and sound compared to previous albums produced by John Feldmann.

The title refers to Utah’s Provo Canyon, where frontman, Bert McCracken, is from and said he had his fondest memories. Influenced by the suicide of Tregen, a childhood friend, and other losses in the McCracken’s life, the lyrics and music are filled with emotion and vulnerability. In the opening track, “For You,” McCracken says what he would say to Tregen, his voice sounding close to tears, “All I want to say to you is that your love never leaves me alone, and now you’re right here; hold my hand. Every song I ever sing is for you.” Comparable to The Used’s first albums, The Used and In Love And Death, with the unclean, uncut sound, The Canyon, definitely provides the old sound many fans fell in love with when they first heard the band.

The first look listeners got of the album was the single “Over and Over Again.” It was a powerful introduction to what The Canyon would have to offer. The record also includes a few political tracks, including “Selfies In Aleppo”-which begins with a quote by George Orwell, an American writer with democratic socialist views- and a few slower songs, like “About You (No Songs Left to Sing).” The variety of types of songs keeps listeners entertained throughout the whole album.

Don’t be intimidated by the length as The Canyon is a staple rock album for 2017. I give it four and a half stars. Check out the tour The Used, with supporting act Glassjaw, is going on this fall (they come to Arizona November 21), and be sure to purchase The Canyon on iTunes or Google Play, or download it on Spotify.

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