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

ACT II: THE MEANING OF, AND ALL THINGS REGARDING MS. LEADING

The Dear Hunter

 

Crossover Prog

3.99 | 173 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Case Crescenzo's "The Dear Hunter" project is an ambitious affair - a six album cycle detailing the life and times of its namesake, the son of a whore, Ms. Terri. Act II is the first full length album in the series (at almost 77 minutes), and includes some of the tracks recorded on the original Dear Hunter demo. It is the first real glimpse of whether or not Casey and crew will be able to pull off this ambitious project we have had, and my friends, the only reasonable reaction to this album is great pleasure that it is so well done, followed by optimism for the future of the series.

As far as modern progressive rock bands go, I think Dear Hunter are one of the better and more legitimate bands. They are recognisably prog, yet at the same time they don't really sound like any other band I have heard. There is a bit of a punk energy going on here, some indie sensibilities, and a proggy depth and detail.

This album tells the story of The Dear Hunter dealing with the death of his mother, falling in love with another prostitute (Ms. Leading) and then distrusting her because of her career. This leads to a bitter departure where the Dear Hunter escapes to war (where Act III takes place).

This is rock music but it meets almost none of the expectations of rock music. A fair sized ensemble of guests, including violin, cello, and harp, give this music a much bigger sound than you can typically achieve with a straight-up rock lineup. The music is also very tastefully blended with the concept, and the two never seem to be at odds. The band makes great use of contrast, there are tons of interesting and catchy musical themes on this album, and they even give some conceptual continuity to the series by reprising some themes from the first act (specifically the "faster save me" and "take me to the lake" themes).

The music in fact benefits greatly from the theme and I would say this Act is even more successful than Act III (which I also greatly enjoyed). The Bitter Suite, which represents The Dear Hunter falling for Miss Leading, is beautifully done, showing how and why the Dear Hunter falls in love, while at the same time never letting the listener forget that they are in a bawdy house. The next track, Smiling Swine, gives a great impression of the afterglow, while Red Hands shows the character weakness of our protagonist as well as the difficulty of loving a prostitute. All of these aspects take the music into interesting places, ranging from delicate to rowdy to aggressive and distrustful. The moment at the end of Red Hands where the Dear Hunter is consumed with guilt (Oh my god, what have I done? Now, my darling, put your clothes back on) is both tense and catchy, yet there is depth to the music as well.

Definitely a great piece of music. So far, the first three Acts have all been great and if the next three are half as good as this album, then they will be worth the time and effort. Recommended.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |

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