With their friendly, positive and upbeat style of music, These United States are doing the alt-country genre a little differently. By the time the band’s fifth studio release was finished, one might have an overwhelming smile on their face rather than a scowl or tears pouring from their eyes (unless they’re of joy). From the start, These United States get the listener pumped up with the catchy and somewhat funky “Dead & Gone.” For the first couple of songs, the vocals have a lo-fi sound and a hint of reverb for flavor that doesn’t get irritating or tiresome to listen to—in fact, it fits with the band quite well. These United States get loud in the soulful “Let The River In,” complete with a harmonica. The third number on the disc is just one of the ways the band spices their self-titled release up.

Although These United States switches up the direction of the album a bit, all the cuts flow and work together to create an album that truly does have something to fit most moods. A personal favorite off of These United States would be the peaceful yet moving “The Park.” With the piece’s light and airy keys matched with heartfelt lyrics, it’s hard not to close one’s eyes and reflect on the darkest song on the release. The collective ends with “Never Stop Falling,” which sounds like it could have been written by The Beatles, if they had a folky sound. The sweet and romantic track is almost enough to give the listener a cavity, but makes them want to experience These United States all over again.

In A Word: Charming

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