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The Dear Hunter - Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.03 | 267 ratings

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Equality 7-2521
5 stars I've wanted to review this album for quite awhile, especially after convincing myself that this is not only the best album of 2007, but the perhaps the most beautiful and impressive album to be released in my lifetime. However, as too often happens with great albums, my appreciation proves to clumsily translate into words.

The first thing to strike me and perhaps the most lasting aspect of the album must be Casey Crescenzo's vocals and ear for vocal harmonies. He has a fantastic range and expresses a wide array of emotions, but what truly amazes me is his timing, phrasing, and placement of the vocals. It's not often than I say I listen to the vocals over the music, but in the case of this album I certainly do. Besides his lead singing, songs are littered with elaborate vocal harmonies. Some of the absolute best I've ever heard. Their impact on the mood and the unabashed musicality of them can't be understated.

None of this however should lead you to think that musically there may be something lacking. A wonderful array of genres are tackled in Act II and melded into beautiful cohesion. Pop, jazz, swing, chamber, and Mars Volta to Coheed style prog can be heard featured throughout the album. I will speak nothing of individual instrumentation as frankly I don't find myself hearing any. The songs communicate as a complete package. The songs are very dense and layered with a variety of instrumentation. A new layer seems to unravel itself upon every listen. The complexity of the songs in this respect baffles me given the rather humble post- hardcore origins of Crescenzo in his former band The Receiving End Of Sirens. Writing such a wealth of high caliber material at such an age amazes me and certainly points towards a bright future for him in whatever medium he chooses to express himself.

In this album as well as in the proceeding EP there is no filler to be found. Casey certainly wasn't at a loss for material nearly twice as many songs were written as appear here. This easily takes the claim as the best album of 2007 for me. Anyone who takes my recommendations with any weight should purchase this and their previous EP.

Equality 7-2521 | 5/5 |


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