A Picture Of The Three Of Us At The Gate To The Garden Of Eden Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut album for the Washington, DC-based indie rock band.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Highlight and opener 'First Sight' consciously cops Postal Service pulse, but Elliott's emotion lies in the shading dodge that dances ever on the periphery of his poeticism.
  2. Alternative Press
    80
    The result is a beautiful collection of understated, orchestral roots rock that will enrapture both NPR and Pitchfork devotees. [Apr 2008, p.153]
  3. These United States sidesteps what could have easily been part of a superfluous boy-and-his-guitar genre by folding classic standards and varying its instrumentation and pop arrangements enough to create a warm and subtle structure, making for an altogether fresh and uniform interpretation of railroad folk introspection.
  4. This, though, is the kind of nice, safe album a listener wants to like badly, but whose flaws ultimately leave one fumbling for the skip button on repeat listens.
  5. Under The Radar
    50
    Elliott's softly vulnerable voice gives everything a modest approachability. [Spring 2008, p.87]
  6. Picture, the more ambitious of the pair, simply sounds unfocused, overly concerned with effects and production--with moments and sounds--than with songs or overall shape.
  7. Picture is an album’s worth of universal feelings spoiled by his compulsion to present them as sordid or literary, to make them clever or allusive or needlessly alliterative

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. PA
    Apr 4, 2008
    10
    This is the best album of the year so far.
  2. Aug 8, 2012
    8
    I wrote a rather lengthy review of the band's newest album (self-titled). I won't go into quite as much detail here. In some ways, it's aI wrote a rather lengthy review of the band's newest album (self-titled). I won't go into quite as much detail here. In some ways, it's a quirky album, with electronic moments that speak of a composed "laptop" album. It's atypical These United States, in many ways, as the band is known for its guitars, including a wonderful pedal steel, and on-stage energy. It's not a bad album by any means; in fact, it's quite good, but very different from the These United States you will experience live or on the other albums. It's not a first choice for recommending the band to friends, but it's a good start from their roots of 2007/2008. Expand