Imaginary Enemy is The Used’s sixth studio offering and has been described by some as “their political album”. While it would appear that way as the album sparks into life with frontman Bert McCracken “calling for revolution,” there does also seem to be another side to this disc with songs like “Cry” dealing with subjects immediately more personal to McCracken.
However, it’s this conflicting subject matter which makes Imaginary Enemy a bit of a confusing listen as one moment McCracken is tugging at the heartstrings of the teen-rock brigade on the aforementioned “Cry” then, a couple of songs further down the line on “A Song To Stifle Imperial Progression (A Work In Progress)”, the vocalist is giving us his take on the war on terror screaming “Drill a hole and fuck the ground and spend the cash and print some more.” Clearly McCracken has got a lot to get off his chest and he’s using this record as a vehicle for his feeling, but there are times when you are left wondering at who this record is aimed.
Obviously the 30 Seconds To Mars, Enter Shikari, My Chemical Romance crowd are going to instantly take the angsty electro-punk-rock that The Used peddle straight to their hearts, but are those who are looking for more meat behind an album with “political statements” going to want to listen to the likes of “Cry” and “El-Oh-Vee-Ee” just to hear another familiar take on the USA and Middle East?
Shifting away from the message for a moment and taking Imaginary Enemy as a whole, it’s hard to deny that it is a solid addition to their catalogue. The rock is catchy enough to appeal to the modern rock generation, the familiar Bert McCracken angst is there but as the album hits an emotional high on “Force Without Violence” it does feel that Imaginary Enemy is The Used starting to make a tricky transition from angsty rockers angry at the world into a band who want their fanbase to sit up and think.
04. A Song To Stifle Personal Progression (A Work In Progress)
05. Generation Throwaway
06. Make Believe
08. Imaginary Enemy
09. Kenna Song
10. Force Without Violence
Run Time: 54:16
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Check out the song “Cry”