The Used’s eighth studio album, Heartwork arrives in one week (April 24th). The band have been teasing fans with a lot of content, so it is a highly anticipated album. And for good reason. Heartwork will hit you right in the feels. It’s full to the brim with nostalgia and calls back to The Used’s roots. The Used could probably do anything and still have it feel so very like them, because they know themselves and their messages so well at this point, but they do this so damn well and I was glad for the familiarity in this record.
Heartwork will kick you in the face with its powerful riffs, catchy hooks and the feeling that you’ve travelled back in time! It’s the record we didn’t even realise just how badly we needed it! I was absolutely blown away when I first heard these songs, and this album really delivers. The already-released ‘Paradise Lost: A Poem by John Milton’ and ‘Blow Me’ are great indicators of what is in store for the rest of the album. In particular, ‘Blow Me’ feels like the culmination of every record The Used have released to date. It feels so much like the band I know and love, in all their incarnations and left me feeling like I am my teenage self again (but in the good way). ‘Bloody Nose’ feels like The Used all grown up. It’s catchy, it’s got a punch to it – no pun intended – and is yet another record highlight. ‘Wow, I Hate This Song’ is another beautiful call back and an answer – or even solution – to the popular music of today. It is stunning; Bert’s vocals at their very best. There are no words for how much I loved this one. Another notable and beautiful example of Bert’s vocals is ‘My Cocoon’. ‘To Feel Something’ is a relatable and highly emotive song that will have you singing along to lyrics like “I just wanna feel something, anything is better than this”. And finally, titular song ‘Heartwork’ is the perfect companion to their iconic ‘I’m a Fake’. It’s a bold statement, but it is not unfounded. Trust me on this. ‘Heartwork’ feels a little more poetic and like a literary work when compared to ‘I’m a Fake’, showing just how much growing Bert has been doing in the years since.
Heartwork feels like the love child of In Love and Death and Lies for the Liars, with sprinkles of their self-titled debut thrown in for good measure. While the record feels much like the early days of the band, there is a sophistication and maturity that reminds you that the band has come so much further and still has so much more to offer.