Review || The Used - "The Canyon"

The Used released their seventh studio album "The Canyon" on October 27th 2017 through Hopeless Records. Since I have never been a fan of The Used, I cannot generally comment on any previously released material by the band and use that as a way to compare a shift or a lack thereof in the sound, the song structuring and approach, as well as the general aesthetic. In that sense, "The Canyon" started playing on a completely clean slate on my stereo.

The record plays out through 17 songs that almost touch the 80 minute mark in total. This is a double compact disc and a quadruple vinyl. God Damn, that is a lot of music. I have mentioned before that I don’t like long songs and long records, but "The Canyon" must be the longest record I’ve played in a while. And it isn’t some kind of progressive post rock music we are talking about in this case. While the band varies many different elements - mostly on the musical approach and not always successfully - what we essentially have here is a pop rock record and so, for a pop rock record, "The Canyon" is way too long. Trust me, it doesn’t hurt to put out 12 song records and I usually have a good attention span. That being said, I do like an array of things on the record. There is a surprisingly large number of songs that have stuck with me with their pop-ness like "Broken Windows", "Rise Up Lights", "Vertigo Cave", "The Divine Absence" and "Over and Over Again"; the catchy guitar riffing, the built up choruses and some of the different ideas formulated to music in many of the bridges of the songs have caught my attention and make a significant part of the record enjoyable. Working with Ross Robinson is another successful plan, given that the softer production and mix of "The Canyon" with its alternative-neo/garage sound is very appealing.

In general I can’t be infatuated by this much of a sentimental approach to singing. I assume that an important amount of bands in that specific genre are attached to a more elevated and dramatic vocal performance but in my case this is the biggest cause of whatever lack of excitement I feel. Skipping the opening track and leaving the three last songs completely out of the record would make me a much happier man when putting "The Canyon" on. Less is more; much less.
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