|The Used - 'Vulnerable (II)' (Hopeless Records)|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Friday, 01 February 2013 03:00|
The Used released their fifth studio album, 'Vulnerable', in March 2012 to critical acclaim and now, at the start of 2013, the band have reissued the album with an extra bonus disc containing four brand new songs plus B-sides, acoustic tracks and remixes...under the new moniker of 'Vulnerable (II)'.
As the original release was reviewed previously by the Ubers, there's no need to rehash that stuff so it's time to concentrate on the bonus disc palaver instead and it's one worthy addition to any Used aficionado's collection.
Kicking in rather smoothly with four spanking new tunes, 'Surrender' is a slower, atmospheric number with electro elements and one hell of a catchy choral arrangement with a neat vocal delivery courtesy of the enigmatic Bert McCracken. 'The Lonely' has a similar feel to the opening tune with the same commerciality in large doses, while 'Machine' is total future electronica mixing some Drum and Bass in for good measure, but with the McCracken tones this is The Used in 2013. 'Disaster' is classic Used with plenty of groove and musical hooks.
'I Come Alive', the song which opened the original release of 'Vulnerabe' is given an industrial make-over thanks to Revolvr and Danny Mihai's remix, and 'Hands And Faces' is given similar treatment, this time the remixing job comes courtesy of Bobby Alt, with Kraddy taking remixing duties for 'Put Me Out'.
After the four new tracks and three remixes comes the final part, acoustic versions of some of the 'Vulnerable' compositions. 'I Come Alive' appears again in a version as important as the original tune and 'Put Me Out' is re-arranged superbly and candidly; it's now become almost a totally different song with McCracken's uneasy vocal performance a wonderous highlight, with maybe a slight Manson influence shining through. Finishing the bonus disc with the same tune that concludes the original album's tracklist only, of course, in acoustic form, the beautiful balladry of 'Together Burning Bright' highlights the quality of songwriting on the original 'Vulnerable' release which, of course, is disc one of this fine collection of songs.