Megan's Top 18 of 2008 - #6 - These United States

I'm sure, my dears, this selection will come as a surprise to exactly none of you, given the heaps and heaps of praise I've directed in the general direction of These United States over the past 350ish days. To be sure, I most certainly have a soft spot for my (former) local faves. But also, Crimes, their second album of 2008, is absolutely fucking brilliant. There's just no getting around it, and you probably ought to consider it a fact.

Future generations will undoubtedly consider TUS ringleader Jesse Elliott a musical genius. He's that good. For now, trust me when I say he's one of the best lyricists around (an entire album about criminal activity, really? Why not?), as well as one of the most naturally gifted frontmen you're likely to have the pleasure to come across, on record and on stage. And as a band, the current configuration simply can't be beat, working together so well you'd think they've been together for decades. And who knows? Perhaps in spirit they have been.

In short, Crimes is the best damn backwoods-meets-barndance-meets-folk-meets-pop rock'n'roll ruckus of the year. And if 2008 is any indication, there's no stopping These United States.


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