The Used have taken a different direction with their music, straying away from their distinctive emo sound and progressing to a combination of alt-rock and post-hardcore with their new album The Canyon. Released through Hopeless Records, The Canyon was recorded entirely without a backing track, which really emphasises its raw overtone. For You opens up with the vocalist Bert McCracken discussing the writing process of the loss of his son. His voice stricken with grief, he states: ‘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 single song I ever sing is for you’, which he verifies to be the chorus of the song. A beautiful acoustic lullaby then strokes our ears, as McCracken injects his emotion into his sugary sweet vocals.
‘Cold War Telescreen‘ begins with a haunting howl, before the breakdown of searing guitars and intense drums begin to wreak havoc on the song. ‘Broken Windows’ has a catchy alt-rock rhythm that contradicts the angst presented in the first two songs, providing a lighter overtone. ‘Rise Up Lights’ has interesting sound effects meshed in with a few screams, and the vocals are raw, grating against your ears. ‘Pretty Picture’ begins with the sound of a man making a speech and children playfully squealing, before acoustics creep in and McCracken’s vocals are driven with suspense, as the heavy breakdown is then thrown in the chorus.
‘Upper Falls’ meanders with sweet vocals and gentle acoustics, gradually progressing to heavier riffs. ‘Selfies In Aleppo’ begins with an intriguing George Orwell quote before luring us into a dark journey that eventually unleashes some intense guitar work in the chorus. ‘Over and Over Again’ is a whimsical pop creation that playfully lightens up the dark throes that have captured this album.
‘Moon Dream’ begins with a child murmuring adorably before introducing a multifaceted orchestral rhythm that is brilliantly composed. Closing song ‘The Mouth Of The Canyon’ is cadenced with introspective vocals, as McCracken’s brooding state of mind takes the listener on a winding path that paints vivid images in their minds. The Canyon is intricately woven with powerful emotion and raw honesty that really resonates with its listeners.