A More Perfect Union starts off with a distorted quote by Abraham Lincoln, backed up by a crescendoing guitar chord, then burst out into a ruckus of loud drum beats, echoey guitars and a punk-rock version of Conor Oberst's singing. Then at about the 4-minute mark, it changes its pace and busts out a few guitar riffs, and finally at the 6:30 mark, changes back to the original pace and diminishes with another quote by an old American activist. Yes, this rousing song is 7 minutes long, but it's still very uplifting, and is similar to the beginning of The Airing of Grievances, in the way that it picks you right up on your feet. This band is great at that. And again, the energy doesn't die down, it just picks up speed on the next song Titus Andronicus Forever, which ends with another Abe Lincoln quote.
However, the constant vibrancy in each song can't fully cover up the fact that the melodies aren't very elaborate, or interesting. They did fine with this on their last record, but somehow skipped over this on The Monitor. A descent melody can only really be heard on A Pot in Which to Piss, Four Score and Seven, and To Old Friends and New.
Something surprising, though, is that each song is 5 to 9 minutes long, yet they keep changing, so they keep you interested, which is hard without many notable melodies.
All in all, it doesn't give the same gratification as The Airing of Grievances, but it's very lively and sustains the same tone of energetic glee, despite the saddening lyrics. I like this album a lot.