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The United States Of America

The United States Of America

1968

The United States Of America
Album Summary

The United States of America is the only studio album by American rock band the United States of America. Produced by David Rubinson, it was released in 1968 by Columbia Records. The album combined rock and electronic instrumentation, experimental composition, and lyrics reflecting leftist political themes. The United States of America received positive reviews on its release and charted at number 181 on the Billboard 200. The album has been reissued several times and continues to receive critical acclaim decades after its original release.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.6

Votes

11208

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Mon Mar 21 2022
1

My wife while listening to this album: “ This sounds like the music that would play when a clown comes to murder you”

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Wed Apr 26 2023
5

[puts on Uncle Sam outfit] I WANT *YOU* TO DROP ACID

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Fri Jul 30 2021
5

4.7 - Yes! This is finally a psychedelic sound that redeems the genre for me, after having choked down so many other buttoned-up commercial examples that crowd this list. Wonderful and incredibly forward-thinking use of noise, electronics and field recordings, all of which add so much dimension. I'd argue the use of secondary sonics rivals contemporary bands like Stereolab and Broadcast. Truly a "garden of earthly delights" that belongs in the psychedelic pantheon alongside "Os Mutantes", "Sgt Pepper" and just a handful of others.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
1

Whats the difference between avant garde and just annoying?

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Thu Mar 23 2023
5

Whoa, this is crazy ahead of its time. At least, it sure feels like it. The electronics add to the music rather than detract, and man is that bass playing really satisfying. I actually love this album. It's just experimental enough without sacrificing the music to really bring me in. Sure, there's some weird circus-y stuff, but it hardly detracts it for me, in fact, I think it adds to the charm. Shame this is their sole album, would definitely binge their discography otherwise. I love how well it eases from psychedelic rock to baroque pop to ballads while all sounding like its own thing. Reminds me of what I've heard of the later Kinks but more rock heavy. Again, just crazy ahead of its time.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
2

who names their band this? Yea this sucks. I mean I appreciate weirdness but it's not good.

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Mon May 24 2021
3

“The United States of America” by The United States of America (1968) If you’re a fan of “American Metaphysical Circus” by Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies (1969), you might want to know that “The United States of America” was Byrd’s immediate predecessor album. Very narrow niche appeal. But wow. You should not listen to this music while on acid. I make that recommendation on good advice from someone I trust, not from any personal experience (heh, heh). This experimental musical product was an early exploration of synthesized sounds and the John Gage school of what I call anti-music music. It’s really cool. Weird, avant-garde, whimsical, chaotic, and horrifying to boot, performed by musicians who actually know what they’re doing and seem to not give a shit. This is an effort to go exponentially beyond Sgt. Pepper, but unlike The Beatles, these folks really want to mess with your mind, and they have some seriously political burrs in their saddles. Serving up induced psychosis, nymphomania, sadomasochism, “queer” appetites to satisfy, and other naughty bits in the lyrics, they deliver sonic distortion as an art form, with frequent departures from melody altogether. Very nice (undistorted) fretless bass by Rand Forbes throughout, and quite pleasing lead vocals by Dorothy Moskowitz. Oh, and I should mention—they’re communists. God, I love this country. One can discern numerous synchronization and pitch problems, but this is still in the analog epoch, baby. Anyway, not only does this music not age well, it was rendered obsolete as the vinyl was still cooling, but who cares? “And the price is right: The cost of one admission is your mind.” 3/5

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Oh fuck ya this is my shit. I sort of recall the name/co ver art but glad to listen to this. "Creating the electronic sounds on the album was difficult because of the technical limitations. Byrd recalled "the only available functioning keyable synthesizers were Robert Moog's at +$20,000. We were left with whatever sounds I could squeeze from three variable wave shape generators, modulating one another." ... this is my shit. This is basically the Beatles "Number 9" meets The Velvet Underground. I can't believe this could chart on the billboard 200 (hit 181). The album also has some beautiful Can-like frenzy in the guitar playling, in some ways this is Krarutrock... Yankrock? The very Nico-esque vocals are a great pairing with all the other weirdness going on. This is the stuff that only could get a label's backing in the 60s/70s for sure. It's almost perfect that this was the only album that happened, then everything fell apart. It's STILL forward thinking, like a fucked up National Album that we deserve.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
4

Fuckin weird and kinda loved it. Like sgt pepper crossed with os mutantes

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

It is different, it is very experimental, but also very good

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Wed Dec 22 2021
5

that was a pretty cool album, I’ll probably need to listen to it again to “get it” but from what I heard, I really liked it 9/10

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Sun Aug 21 2022
5

This is great on so many levels. It’s weird and avant-garde, twisted but funny, experimental with its clever use of primitive electronics, but accessible. One of the easiest 5’s I’ve given and way ahead of its time both sonically and stylistically.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
3

Very high 3. Lot of great songs on this album like Lump and Peaches but the back half was largely unnecessary. Stranger was the underrated hit for me

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Thu Sep 22 2022
5

Love this album, fantastic psychedelic music. Strange, groovy and a joy to listen to. I hope Rob doesn’t make me look silly and give me third 5 star album in a row

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Wed Sep 28 2022
5

Proper 1968 psychedelic freakout

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Sun Jan 01 2023
5

Definitely psychedelic and not what I expected. I wouldn't say it's shit, but the first track was very interesting to say the least, I also don't entirely understand it, I guess. It got better as it went on. Very Alice in Wonderland vibes. Organized chaos. Fave track(s): Hard Coming Love, Cloud Song, Coming Down, No Love To Give

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Thu Sep 21 2023
5

This was entirely unexpected for me. Looking at the band's name and cover art, I expected something like 60s rock, Beatlesque, or The Byrds-influenced band. The name suggests a typical American nationalism that is easy to identify and criticize, which is typical for people from the USA and annoying. Keeping the comparisons, I found a great band in line with the best of the Beatle's last albums and the best of the Beach Boys. The lyrics are the opposite of my first impressions, and it's excellent! It's a shame not to know this band before; sadly, this is the only album.

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Sun Jan 22 2023
3

More interesting as a historical artifact than it is musically, which is above average psychedelia. Indeed, reads as a period piece. To some extent, it suffers from the common psychedelic pitfall of too much and all at once – the calliope and marching band stuff just test the nerves, inclining one to think, "no wonder only one record and maybe not entirely the fault of the label's lack of commitment." The "American Way of Love" succeeds in layering and reprising (vaguely reminds one of The La's efforts on their debut (much different time, much different band and album). Singer is good and has moments – the sharp "Garden of Earthly Delights" notably and "Love Song for the Dead Che" – but overall effort never quite transcends. The social satire not exactly piercing, some of it undoubtedly lost in the flood of maximalism. And the record sounds much less avant-garde, and more zany, than it probably wanted to be. A must-hear? Not really. More like vaguely interesting to know and experience. (Note: the supplements on streaming services – notably "Perry Pier" – excel the album proper, with evocations of later bands, even the sort of then-current-not-retro sound that Stereolab would recreate.)

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Fri Jan 26 2024
2

Somewhere in between annoying and tolerable. There's an excessive use of experimental sounds and instruments. Sometimes they land, sometimes they miss. At times it is exciting, at times it is boring. Just all over the map for me. Kind of feels like this album was an assignment for a group at an arts college where they were required to use X number of instruments. If this is supposed to be psychedelic rock, I really feel bad for anyone who made the decision to trip while listening to this. Seems like a recipe for a really bad time.

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

I didn't know the band. Pretty solid psychedelic rock. Not a single song I don't like.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
5

Some 60's psychedelia sounds top cheesy for me, but I like how this band does it. Too bad they only stuck around for 1 album. The experiments were promising. Worth investigating further.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

A real trip. Not really into all the bonus tracks but the original album itself is brilliant

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Mon Nov 14 2022
5

This was such a damn cool album, and I LOVE the singer's voice. Everything I wanted here. Gotta love discovering something amazing you'd never even heard of before!

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

Wild, imaginative and unique for not containing guitar in a guitar heavy, late 60’s era. I love it.

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Wed Mar 29 2023
5

Amazing, never heard of them. Love their freakiness, the organised chaos, her voice. Reminds me of music around that time that are also my favorites, like Velvets 1st album and the White album of the Beatles. But also of later music like Weekend with Alison Statton and much more. In other words: true find

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Wed Mar 29 2023
5

How had I never heard of this band or album before??

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Fri Jun 30 2023
5

i have only listened to the first track off this album but i think i am into the relentless experimentation and i want it to be chaotic i have liked every song after this and am half way through the album now its not as experimental as the first track but they still keep a steady amount of interest throughout i dont know how to rate it though because 5 feels too high for what the album is but i dont know what that means exactly i really like the recall of previous parts of the album but at this point i dont know if there are duplicate songs or something it seems like a repeat but different names perhaps? i think this album was just really really good and not something i thought i would like so that is why im struggling but im pretty confident now that its a 5

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Thu Aug 03 2023
5

Just amazing. Best psych album yet. Better than your Jefferson airplanes, better than artsy Velvet Underground (not "Loaded"). As good as piper at the gates of dawn

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Sun Sep 17 2023
5

Title: A Psychedelic Masterpiece: "The United States Of America" Album Review Released in 1968, "The United States Of America" self-titled album stands as a pioneering and avant-garde masterpiece of the psychedelic rock era. Led by the visionary composer and electronic music pioneer Joseph Byrd, this album is a daring exploration of the possibilities of rock music, blending elements of experimentalism, folk, and electronic sounds to create a truly unique sonic experience. From the very first track, "The American Metaphysical Circus," it's evident that this album is like no other. The cacophonous opening immediately grabs your attention, setting the tone for an unpredictable journey through soundscapes that are both dissonant and enchanting. Dorothy Moskowitz's haunting vocals soar above the intricate tapestry of instruments, creating an ethereal and hypnotic atmosphere. One of the standout tracks, "Garden of Earthly Delights," is a mesmerizing trip into the surreal. Its use of oscillators and synthesizers was groundbreaking at the time, foreshadowing the electronic music revolution that would follow in the decades to come. The juxtaposition of these futuristic sounds with Byrd's intricate arrangements and Moskowitz's haunting vocals is nothing short of mind-bending. "The United States Of America" also offers a critical and satirical take on American society during the late 1960s. Tracks like "Coming Down" and "Love Song For The Dead Che" feature thought-provoking lyrics that challenge the status quo and offer a glimpse into the counterculture of the era. The album's socio-political commentary is as relevant today as it was back then. Joseph Byrd's avant-garde approach to music production is evident throughout the album. He skillfully blends traditional rock instruments like guitar and drums with electronic and experimental elements, creating a dynamic and constantly evolving soundscape. The result is an album that feels both timeless and ahead of its time. "The United States Of America" is not an album for everyone. Its unconventional and challenging nature may deter some listeners who prefer more conventional rock music. However, for those willing to venture into uncharted sonic territory, this album is a rewarding and mind-expanding experience. It's a testament to the creative possibilities of music and a reminder that true innovation often comes from pushing the boundaries of the familiar. In conclusion, "The United States Of America" album is a remarkable and daring work of art that continues to captivate and inspire listeners over five decades after its release. It remains a testament to the spirit of experimentation and artistic courage that defined the 1960s, and it deserves a place in the pantheon of groundbreaking albums in the history of music. If you're a fan of psychedelic and experimental music, this album is essential listening and a journey you won't soon forget.

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Sun Sep 24 2023
5

What a crazy ride this record is! Psychedelic and weird at the same time

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

This is a really cool album. I don't even really know what to say about, but it's a nice experience. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone that likes quirkier music. I could understand why people might not like it, but I'm sad this has such a low rating on here. Oh well, I guess. My favourite song was Stranded in Time.

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Sat Oct 14 2023
5

I've just given 3/5 to some insipid dullness from Goldfrapp and then am immediately confronted by this album. I'm wracked with guilt. I admit when I began listening to this I started off hostile but, six tracks in, I'm totally won over. This is a fantastic album.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

What a fucking TRIP man! I had never heard or heard OF this record. Shame, honestly. From start to finish I was completely entranced by the whimsical, trippy, eerie and sometimes incapacitating sounds. Right off the bat, we're treated to a circus theme that bursts into a chilled out, Pink Floyd-esque psychedelic tune. After that it's tempo changes on tempo changes on tempo changes; yet somehow it all feels structured and intentional. It's an even bigger shame that TUSOA never capitalized on this album and mostly faded into oblivion. This is a great example of 60's experimentation done right. You can hear the competencies of each musician, even when they're going off the rails. Huge props to the rhythm section; the drums and bass are phenomenal and incredibly solid. I want to write bass lines like this. The main criticism I can give is that it can get just a bit silly (or "extra") at times. A Gregorian chant to kick off Where Is Yesterday is fine, but sort of took me out of the overall feeling. Just keep it a cool, multi-layered Beach Boys feeling track, and you're good. Don't put this on at a party. Curl up on your couch, light a j, and sit back. Your mind and soul will thank you.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

So good. Ahead of their time.

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Sun Nov 12 2023
5

Isä: Sinä et kai ole koskaan ajatellut, mitä isänmaa on? (Laskee kätensä poikansa olkapäälle.) Isänmaa on kaikki, mikä ympäröi sinua, kaikki, mikä on kasvattanut ja elättänyt sinua, kaikki, mitä olet rakastanut! Tämä pelto, jonka täällä näet, nämä talot, nämä puut, nämä nuoret pojat ja tytöt, jotka iloisina käyvät tietään, tässä on isänmaasi! Lait, jotka turvaavat sinua; leipä, jonka ansaitset työlläsi; sanat, joita vaihdat toisten kanssa; ilot ja surut, joita saat ihmisiltä, joitten keskuudessa elät ja olet, ovat isänmaatasi! Pieni huone, jossa äitisi ennen asui; muistot, jotka hän on jättänyt jälkeensä; maa, jossa hän lepää, on isänmaatasi! Sinä näet ja huomaat sen kaikkialla! Kuvittele mielessäsi, poikani, oikeutesi ja velvollisuutesi, taipumuksesi ja tarpeesi, muistosi ja kiitollisuutesi, ajattele kaikkea tätä yhdistettynä yhteen nimeen -- tämä nimi on: isänmaa! Poika: Ah, minä ymmärrän, se on suuri perhe, meidän suuri kotimme, se on se osa maailmaa, johon Jumala on kiinnittänyt ruumiimme ja sielumme! Isä: Poika, onko Ameriikan maata kuvaava albumi oikean kuvaava, jos näet ei se sisällään pidä asian toista luonnetta ja laitaa, vaan survoo sisälleen sen puolen joka ain nenäänsä nyrpistäen kapinoi, vaikkakin Kristuksen Jeesuksen valossa pysyy. Näet, nuorehko sukupolvi uusi ja syntynyt on. Pieni malli ihanne. Kaduilla ja teillä mellakassa ei vain näet isommalle poliisille pärjää. Poika: En käsitä. Isä: Where is yesterday echoes huuhtoutunut täältä albumista kuin maamme ensimmäiset kullankaivajat. Che, rakastaja kuin ranskan suuri lahjoitus New Yorkiin. Aikaanjääneet itku tarina... sitä et ymmärrä poika.. Kokonaisuudessaan albumi yhsitelmä electronicaa ja psykedeelistä. Albumi saatttaa kuullostaa leikittelyltä, ja vaikka ihmiskunta katsoo aina eteenpäin, kaipuu lisää, etsii uusia rajoja, vain murtaaksesi ne ymmärryksellä että tämä maailma on yksi, jossa me kaikki jaamme vastuun tietää, että Tänään tekemäsi päätökset vaikuttavat pysyvästi huomisen sukupolviin. Saattaa paine kasvaa liian suurikse, näet ei se aina ole helppoa.

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Sat Dec 02 2023
5

I attempt this album for the fourth time, today. I have not disliked it; it seems like innovative, experimental psychedelic rock that really pushes towards the latest (at the time) technology, using electronica in a way that few people could possibly have done before. There's a lot of anarchy and cacophony in here. Some of the vocoder / modulation of the vocals is incredible. Strongly reminiscent in delivery to Dubstar, recorded 30-ish years later. As I sit and properly try to take it in, I'm increasingly impressed with what they were doing with their synths. As I get to "I won't leave my wooden wife for you" and "Where is yesterday" I realise that actually, yes, this is a brilliant album.

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Thu Dec 14 2023
5

Brilliant orchestral avant psych music that is uncompromising in its vision and still sounds fresh today.

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Fri Dec 15 2023
5

Another one that I had zero expectations for and ended up loving. Albums like that are why I’m liking 1001 so much.

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Sun Dec 31 2023
5

When dealing with a psychedelic album, the potential to find oneself in the midst of a masterbatory jam fest that is trying just a little to hard to be weird is always high. This album, however, is an example of how fantastic this genre can be. It utilizes both the male and female voice in addition to early electronic music, classically influenced music, and even some polyphony. The result is a textured and beautiful masterpiece that never insists upon itself.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

Wonderfully eclectic. Another band I had never heard of til doing this. Another easy five stars.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

Excellent and totally unpredictable. The array of sounds and inspirations from different musical traditions is insane and I'm here for it. I was just thinking all the time - what else can they to to surprise me?

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

The chaos of this album is mesmerizing. The further I go, the better it gets.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

I really liked this. Far out!

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Thu Feb 22 2024
5

Foundational - influenced so many bands I love, and still sounds so fresh

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Fri Apr 12 2024
5

Loved just about every track and even a lot of the bonus tracks were good. Very surprised by this one. Rating: 4.8

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Mon Apr 15 2024
5

Very surprised to see this on the list. Some pretty deep psychedelia right here. Extremely ambitious for the time. I believe they did not use any electric guitars for this album (besides the bass). Lots of early electronic experimentation. Also a lot of experimentation with stereo separation. My vinyl copy is mono so I'll have to grab a stereo copy soon. I can't begin to image what this must've sounded like to listeners in 1968, cause it still sounds hella weird even today. But it's a good type of weird. Not like "wtf turn this off" weird but more like "what the hell is this, I'm intrigued" weird. Obviously had a huge influence on more modern psych acts such as The Flaming Lips. **Fun Fact** Mac Miller sampled the track "Coming Down" off this LP for the song "Smile Back".

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Sun Apr 21 2024
5

Thiis is The United States Of America's only album. After all these years, it is still receiving praise. It is sad that disagreements between band members, particularly leader Joseph Byrd and others, about the band's future direction led to a break-up shortly after the album's release. It is also said it had limited commercial success at its time. But the album has stood the test of time for its uniqueness, to which I attribute its enduring relevance and elevation to a cult classic status.

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Thu Apr 25 2024
5

I'm always so disappointed when it says Psychedelic on the label and then it's just bluesy folksy pop-rock, but in bell-bottoms and someone may have had a joint. This here is the good shit. Yes. Bit cartoony at times, some tracks are like skits but I don't mind them in the flow of the album. Good one!

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Wed Jun 12 2024
5

Expected nothing but was impressed. It's so "60s" but at the same time. it's pretty experimental and ahead of it's time. Something like this could even be released nowadays as indie experimental project. 90/100!

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Tres bon album psychedeliqu rock. 4.25. Il y a de l’influence sgt pepoer je trouve.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
4

Rock psicodélico muy ecléctico. Curioso.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
4

This is certainly a weird one. So avant-garde, with the eerie synthesizer noises and the penchant for ending songs with screeching orchestrations. I like the female vocalist. She reminds me of a more pleasant melodic version of Nico. Their record company was brave to release this, knowing it had zero commercial potential. I wanted to give it a 5, based on the first 8 songs (of the original 10-song LP), but my co-judge was far less impressed after I forced her to listen to it twice, to and from from dinner at The Drake last night.

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Sun Mar 28 2021
4

I don't it is not that bad, but the try for psychedelic rock just doesn't succeed for me.

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Mon May 17 2021
4

Crazy album! Very progressive for it's time, unique instrumentation. Liked it a lot.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Bitvis obegriplig, svårlyssnad och hysterisk. Men sjukt kul.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
4

i don't know if i can do this album tonight, let's see. this first song is pretty good once it actually starts. i love the weird noises/interruptions in the second song <3 i liked 'the garden...' within 5 seconds lol. i've been loving the lyrics so far ah. huh who's this man. every song is doing something different, 6 songs in i've no idea what's to come next. 'where is yesterday': lyrics are so good, melodies are so good, the harmonies, the eerie vibe, everything i love. track 10 was a journey lol. 'no love to give' is the only song i don't totally love so far. track 13 is pretty much the same as track 5 but they switch singers, idc about different versions of the same song. well i'm done. the songs that i love make me want to give this record a 5 lol they're that good. it would be a 5 if the album was only tracks 1-11, around 40 minutes long, way tighter.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

Trippy, psychedelic, and experimental in the best ways. Lots of interesting musical ideas on the album and a feeling that the group had a good time cutting the record.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Great for putting on while you’re doing something else. Ambient but not dull

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

Solid psych rock. A lot of interesting and experimental sounds going on.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
4

Picked this one up at Hidden World the night of the FoD show. It's a trip to be sure. Definitely has a chaotic atmosphere from the synths that I feel a kinship with. A landmark album really considering its use use of synths for its time. I like that the synths are a bit more crude than keyboard controlled Moogs and that they were also used to process other sounds. Definitely drawing from a variety of atypical influences to produce a very unique sound. Wish they were able to go on to make more music and refine their sound but I'll take this wild ride of a record. A very enjoyable experiment.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
4

An absolute trip, but I just couldn't pull myself away? 4/5.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
4

This was interesting, def part of the psychedelic wave and reminded me of the Mama's and Papa's. Showed there was more to the 60's than the Beatles.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
4

I’m not convinced this is as far ahead of its times as it seems to be getting sold to me as. The electronica doesn’t really innovate anything Raymond Scott wasn't doing a decade earlier. Musically, where it doesn’t reflect a lot of other psychedelic rock of a similar if not earlier vintage, it frequently shades to the tedious side of avant-garde. I’ll take Wikipedia’s word for it that the lyrics are political: I wasn’t hearing it. Still, it does synthesize these things to an unusual degree and has enough solid gems to scrape a bare four stars. I’d listen to it again.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
4

This is great. really thought this was going to be the usual late 60s rock I have been getting through this, but instead it was lively, different, fun.

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

Better than expected. Cool 60's psych grooves and I love the retro sci-fi flair and early prog experimentation!

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Wed May 11 2022
4

A contender for the most experimental rock album of the 60s. The production is super lofi for 1968, but the melodies catch on, and the vocals are very appealing to listen to. Her voice reminds me of Nico and Grace Slick. Most of this album sounds like a reaction to Sgt Pepper with the influences of music hall, circus, and vaudeville in several tracks. However, it still holds the 60s badge pride. I would mostly classify this as psychedelic pop, as it mostly follows the formula of groovy 60s pop rock, but there's a lot of acid rock, as well as plays on free jazz, medieval polyphony, medieval folk, vaudeville, space rock (was that even invented yet?), classical, Eastern (Japanese?), ragtime, and whatever you call the genre of beautiful strings that play in 1930s movies, among many other genres. There are signs of early dream pop (Cloud Song) and chamber pop (Stranded in Time) here too. This album could be found abrasive to the average listener, especially with the low production. I found myself loving every song. There are groovy moments to rock to and dreamy moments to relax to. Lots of creative moments to appreciate everything going on. Despite the different styles, it's focused, with nice transitions in styles between and during songs. Wish there was more music like this, but at least we got bonus tracks just as peculiar.

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Thu May 12 2022
4

I had to give this one a second listen to really gather my thoughts on it. Some of the fully musique concrete stuff that bookended the album was a bit too all over the place for my liking, but otherwise this was a really exciting album that went all in on a lot of genres and pulled it off. Definitely one I'll be coming back to

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Fri May 20 2022
4

Not all of this works but when it goes, it really goes. Must have been pretty special 55 years ago

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Thu Jul 14 2022
4

Interesting noisy psychedelic rock. Could be painfully dissonant at times but I appreciate the creativity. Good variety throughout the album.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
4

I am going to say, shocked how much I enjoyed this. I'd say 3.5 stars but can't do half and 3 felt too low. So, Four stars... but know it's a 3.5.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
4

This is exactly my bag, down to the electric-violin-not-guitar teased on the cover. I was worried, based on the blurb, about the disastrous potential of that fact. The United States of America ends up being brilliant, though the magical transmission is refracted by the sequencing and scatters a unevenly. That variation is largely in density, it seems at the moment. But the album is a gem which I'm sure will bear revisiting. A band whose oeuvre is easy enough to explore.

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

Ready to get weird? Freak Out! in 1966, The Velvet Underground & Nico in 1967, and now The United States Of America in 1968. The psychedelic wave of rock also brought along incentive to try strange new ways of making music. Layering sounds from Gregorian chants to circus marches to sound collages, The United States Of America is determined to try as many different thing within the psych rock framework. Some of it works well, some of it doesn't. Stranded in Time, for instance, is a catchy baroque pop piece that very well could've inspired The Beatles' A Day In The Life. Other songs, like The American Metaphysical Circus, are messy and purposefully chaotic. The whirlwind of sounds is perhaps a signature for the band. They never did anything else after the release of this album. Disagreements over the direction of the band led to the break up of The United States Of America, so their debut was also their finale. It's influence cannot be understated though, as others would cite The United States Of America as an influence. That's got to count for something.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

Didn’t know this before listening on this journey. I really enjoy some of these early experimental records. Makes me wonder if I am missing something happening now or if the days of this type of experimenting are over.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

quite interesting for such an old rock record

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

I liked this a little more than I expected, reminds me of early Floyd crossed with The Mothers. Dorothy Moskowitz's vocal style feels like it has a little exotica/lounge DNA.

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Fri Oct 14 2022
4

An unexpected gem with an ungoogleable name. I was really impressed by the fantastic cacophonous psychedelia that somehow still managed to have great melodies laid atop. American Metaphysical Circus and I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife for You, Sugar are the standouts, but the album is one that works best as a whole piece I'm going to mark it four and regret it - much like Laura Nyro a year ago, it needs more listens before I can declare my undying love for it.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Never heard of this band before, good psychedelic album maybe a bit too experimental for me at points but glad I listened.

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Wed Nov 09 2022
4

Does and does not sound like 1968. Has a lot of the styling of the time, but with many experimental sounds/ideas/concepts that I have not heard from music of this period

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

Scratch everything that I have written about Disraeil Gear being a perfect example of album in psychedelic rock genre. This is The Ultimate experience of late sixties music, for better or worse, condensed to one, as non-linear as possible album. It's a wild ride with The United States of America, which actually reflect the state and history of the nation as well. No guitars on the record, but plenty of other instruments, you can safely pick one and it's probably used on one of the tracks. It is a very experimental concept, avant-garde at moments, with plenty of surprises and unorthodox approach to music. I definitely recommend listening to this album, even though it's too self-conscious, crossing the line of being intelligible far too often. But again, what a fun ride it is!

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Mon Nov 14 2022
4

Some really fun stuff going on here, especially the female vocals. I think I sense proto-Bjork a little bit. The avant garde and electronic stuff is so damn fun.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
4

Lots of interesting things on this album. I actually really enjoyed it, and seeing the different directions it would go. I have a feeling this is one of those that you like more and more the more you listen.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
4

I went into this expecting another mediocre psychedelic album like the last byrds album I got but this was actually really solid. Hard coming love was good, stranded in time sounded a lil too much like eleanor rigby, and I liked how chaotic american way of love got by the second and third part. Also very leftist, counter-culture lyrics which was fun.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
4

I can’t say I’ve heard of this band before. I think I might have heard of the country in passing, but not the band nor the album named The United States Of America. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: The American Way Of Love, I Won’t Leave My Wooden Wife For You Sugar I reckon this album might be a completely different experience under the influence of the devil’s lettuce. However, sans-substances, it was still a fun experience. There were some songs that I felt leant maybe a little too far into the unusual, but on the whole, this was an enjoyable melding of genres, and the last song was fantastic. Also, it would be a crime for me to not mention the zany song titles. I’d easily recommend this for fans of psychedelic rock.

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