Crimes by These United States on Apple Music

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Coming just six months after its debut, Crimes is the delightfully sprawling sophomore release by These United States that showcases the ambition and creative drive of this intriguing new band. Blending indie rock with a touch of country twang that taps its Kentucky roots, the band boasts an energetic looseness that is sustained for the entire album. Lead singer Jesse Elliott has an excellent voice and a strong delivery and he packs a vanload of images, observations, and references into these dozen songs. Ricocheting between wordy and dense and insightful and inspired, the songs speak of crimes, sin, and salvation in their various forms. Yet even though the lyrics can sometimes get a bit thick, they are usually saved by catchy sing-along choruses, something the band does particularly well. The looser, hook-heavy romps like “Susie At the Seashore,” “Honor Amongst Thieves,” and “Six Fast Bullets (Five Complaints)” are balanced by slower songs like “We Go Down to That Corner,” “Heaven Can Wait,” and “Study the Moon” and allow the listener a moment to catch a breath, while also giving the album a good flow and continuity. Overall, Crimes is a highly enjoyable and original work that could earn the band a much wider audience.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Coming just six months after its debut, Crimes is the delightfully sprawling sophomore release by These United States that showcases the ambition and creative drive of this intriguing new band. Blending indie rock with a touch of country twang that taps its Kentucky roots, the band boasts an energetic looseness that is sustained for the entire album. Lead singer Jesse Elliott has an excellent voice and a strong delivery and he packs a vanload of images, observations, and references into these dozen songs. Ricocheting between wordy and dense and insightful and inspired, the songs speak of crimes, sin, and salvation in their various forms. Yet even though the lyrics can sometimes get a bit thick, they are usually saved by catchy sing-along choruses, something the band does particularly well. The looser, hook-heavy romps like “Susie At the Seashore,” “Honor Amongst Thieves,” and “Six Fast Bullets (Five Complaints)” are balanced by slower songs like “We Go Down to That Corner,” “Heaven Can Wait,” and “Study the Moon” and allow the listener a moment to catch a breath, while also giving the album a good flow and continuity. Overall, Crimes is a highly enjoyable and original work that could earn the band a much wider audience.

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2:50
3:21
3:09
5:40
4:29
4:39
3:27
5:14
2:04
4:29
3:36

About These United States

Combining Devendra Banhart's "new weird American" eccentricity, Flaming Lips-influenced electronic bells and whistles, and a Wilco-esque twanginess, These United States create a musical melting pot that blends together a wide array of influences. Born of a collaboration between Jesse Elliott and David Strackany (the man behind Paleo), These United States put together the songs that would become their debut LP in 2007. The resulting album, A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden, was released by United Interests the following year, with Crimes arriving six months later. ~ Margaret Reges

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