Fans of Vulnerable by The Used will be absolutely ecstatic to hear the additions in Vulnerable (II). Four brand new songs, three acoustic versions and three remixes. The first disk, which contains the original 12 tracks, kicks off with the mysterious-sounding keyboard/drum intro of "I Come Alive." 18 seconds later and we have an instrumental break with singer Bert McCracken taking a deep breath before spitting out the words, "breathing in now." It instantly drew us in. The transitions in "Shine" also had us captivated. With the lead guitar intro, slow electronic verses, high-speed chorus filled with hard riffs and a drum/bass guitar closure, this track that would seemingly sound like a train wreck actually exuded musical flawlessness. The second disk opens with "Surrender," a chill and melodic song with beautiful lyrics. It reminded us of the material in the band's self-titled debut album - very original-sounding and similar to The Used's style in the beginning. "The Lonely" follows, a feel-good track despite the name. The lyrics discuss how no one ever deserves to be alone, bringing positive vibes to the already uplifting instrumental portion. One can hear the passion in the words - it's inevitable. The second part of Vulnerable (II) also includes two different versions of "I Come Alive." First, a dubstep remix infused with electro-house by Revolvr and Danny Mihai. The track builds up before the chorus, dropping the bass each time McCracken sings, "I come alive." Second, an acoustic version that brings out the drumming in the song. We'd like to call it the heartbeat of the album. "Hands and Faces" is given an electro-house remix by world-famous and award-winning drummer Bobby Alt. It had us groovin' instantly - the beat was contagious and transformed the hard alternative track into something danceable. The acoustic version of "Put Me Out" showcases McCracken's vocal range, ranging from a slight whisper to powerful, emotion-filled enunciations of every word supported by delicate back-up screams. Not a full-blown scream, but a softer rendition. With the addition of the second disc, Vulnerable (II) is truly a masterpiece and a must for any die-hard fan to acquire. —Ashley zlatopolsky
Worth a Listen: "Put Me Out (Acoustic)"