CD Review of Lies for the Liars by The Used

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Lies for the Liars
starhalf starno starno starno star Label: Reprise
Released: 2007
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Imagine, if you will, the shenanigans set forth by a bunch of label execs during one of their meetings to discuss the creation of the new album by the Used.

Exec #1: “So our rockin’ boys have the idea to make a new album. How should we go about it this time so people will purchase maximum copies?”

Exec #2: “Well, let’s make sure the ‘emo kids’ enjoy it first and foremost! We gotta make sure the band writes really pithy lyrics and then wails/shouts/sings them to make the kids think the lead guy – Bert McCracken, right? – We gotta make ‘em think he can really sing!”

Exec #3: “Well, we have ProTools for all that if he can’t.”

Exec #1: “Nah, we never use that for groups like these. Lead singers of these types of bands eventually just ‘hit the note’ by straining so hard when singing those choruses. Anyway, I was thinking the first song they have demoed for us here, ‘The Ripper,’ should have elements of the poppier side of Nine Inch Nails thrown on top to suck new listeners in. Whaddaya think?”

Coffee girl Jane: “My 16-year-old loves Nine Inch Nails! He’s always brooding and angsty after a good listening to Trent Reznor. I bet he’d buy the new disc if you made it sound like him!”

Exec #1: “Excellent! Well, just the first song we’re talking about here. Reznor himself is getting too old for his tired shtick, so I figure we could just go a little retro and throw a dollop of Pretty Hate Machine touches on the tune and leave it at that. Next up is ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward.’ Any ideas?”

Exec #3: “Yes, the meter of the choruses sounds like the guys completely ripped off the Waitresses’ ‘I Know What Boys Like.’ So how about a hair metal setting for it?”

Exec #2: “I knew I wasn’t high when I was thinking that as well! Let’s also throw in a little part where they ape Metallica rhythmically with the drums and bass. You know, ba-da-ba-dum, ba-da-ba-dum, really fast and hard!”

Exec #1: “And so shall it be! Now for ‘The Bird and the Worm’ I was figuring we could make them sound like Tenacious D and dress it up with some violin and that kinda shit, which will then make the emo kids say something dumb/smart like, ‘I hate classical music, but I love it when the Used have that violin in their song! That’s so crazy!’” The lyrics are dumb enough that the D wouldn’t have even bothered writing them. But it’s so fucking overdramatic that it sounds exactly like what they make fun of.”

Exec #2: “So we’re up to ‘Earthquake.’ Jesus, this just another stupid emo ballad that any teenage girl would love. They’ve done enough damage on their own here with this one.”

Exec #1 and #3: “Agreed.”

Exec #3: “This song, ‘Hospital.’ I’ve listened to it a few times now. It’s not very good, but is it about someone who wants attention by faking illnesses or suicide, or what? Is it a metaphor for something bigger?”

Exec #1: “It doesn’t matter what it’s about. It just sounds dramatic and rocking, and you know anything to do with hurting oneself or any of that hoo-ha really sells with the kids these days! Maybe we can do a video for it and the hospital we use can be an homage to the filthy one they had in the movie ‘Jacob’s Ladder.’”

Exec #2: “Wait, now. These kids are too young to even remember that, no? Besides, we don’t want to waste too much money on superfluous singles and videos with these guys. We just need to basically break even on this release.”

Exec#1: “True that. Okay, so any other ideas, gentlemen?”

Exec #3: “Mmm, I’d say just wash, rinse, and repeat for the rest of these songs. You know, they’re shouting enough through most of this crap. We can make sure some of it is poppy so as to not get too heavy for the kids.”

Exec #2: “Indeed. Plus, ‘Find a Way’ is a pussed-out enough love song that calms the second half down before going back into full gear for ‘Liar Liar (Burn in Hell)’ in which the boys have thoughtfully thrown a ‘motherfucker.’”

Exec #1: “Oh fuck! Is that going to cause us to throw a goddamn parental advisory sticker on this shit?”

Exec #3: “No. Statistics have shown most parents not tuning in to what their kids listen to can handle at least one f-bomb or so.”

Exec #1: “Great! So we’re done here! Lies for the Liars will be the semi-hit that will move enough units that we’ve been calculating for this upcoming quarter. I’m off to see my mistress. You boys go buy yourselves some Arby’s on my tab!”

And so, another album is born and released into the wild. Will the Used sell crazy amounts of their new CD? Will anyone under 24 care? So many unanswered questions. Ah well. Time for some Taco Bell before listening to the next disc for review…

~Jason Thompson