What Lasts

Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
Buy On
  1. With the release of What Lasts, it is more clear that they are not only settling into their place, but maturing as musicians as well.
  2. The band--also with Justin Craig on guitars and keyboards, J. Tom Hnatow on pedal and lap steel, Colin Kellogg on bass and Robby Cosenza on drums--works on tour enough to have a sound of its own. And that sound, notably sweetened by Mr. Hnatow, levels the field for the songs. Which ends up being good news for Mr. Elliott.
  3. These United States' lead singer Jesse Elliot has a scratchy, affected voice--maybe a super-strung-out Ryan Adams, if you're looking for a point of reference--which makes for a varied listening experience: Sometimes you want it to lead you to the Promised Land ("Just This"), sometimes you just want to make it stop ("Ever Make You Mine").
  4. These United States are trying to transport the listener back to a conversation among a group of weed-smoking flower children circa 1971/1972, but lyrically, they continue to miss the mark and end up sounding pretentious instead. Nonetheless, they do have an appealing sense of melody, and despite this album's shortcomings, one doesn't want to give up on These United States just yet.
  5. Sadly, this album gets bogged down in hollow harmonies and filler songs that merely scrape the surface of emotion.

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