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The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum: Complete Collection CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter


Crossover Prog

4.06 | 87 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A bit of a departure from the Six-Act concept album cycle, to be sure, but there's some stellar material here and any Dear Hunter fan is doing him or herself a grave disservice by ignoring this release, or not listening to it in its entirety. While Casey Crescenzo may have scaled back the prog sensibilities a little bit here in favor of a more streamlined sound, the variety in this 9 EP set is tremendous, and in my opinion any fan of the group needs to hear all 2.5 hours of it (preferably in sequence) to really grasp its scope. It's certainly not perfect, but definitely well worth having.

I usually do a track by track commentary in my reviews, but there's just too many songs here for me to do that effectively. Instead, I'll go "EP by EP" and hopefully that will work out.

"Black" starts off the cycle, and as you might expect, it's a pretty dark affair. Casey pulls out some extremely raw vocals (even by his standards) and overall the lyrics are pretty bleak. To be honest, without some of the progginess found in the Acts, the Black EP comes off sounding a little too much like standard alt-rock, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but it's just not my cup of tea. Because of this, the Black EP is probably my least favorite of the set.

"Red" follows much in the same vein, but it's catchier and a little less dark, and I think that helps it quite a bit. It still has the same problem (in my opinion) of sounding too generic for the Dear Hunter, but it's certainly not bad.

"Orange" is where I think things really start to get interesting. From the first chords of the first song, you know that the Dear Hunter is forging into new territory. It's not unreasonable to say that outside of the Color Spectrum the DH doesn't really have a lot of very happy songs, but everything on this EP just radiates a kind of cheery energy.

"Yellow" is even more cheery, and I think it's probably my favorite EP of the group. I had the privilege of seeing TDH live and they played a couple from this EP, and the songs on this EP breathe like nothing the Dear Hunter has ever released before.

"Green" and "Blue" are both very restrained, folky sets. I always like when songwriters deviate from the kind of music they usually make, because it proves to me that when someone is truly talented they can write anything and make it sound good. Both "Blue" and "Green" are very relaxing and easy to listen to, which perhaps isn't something that could have been said about a lot of the Dear Hunter's earlier work.

The EP set closes with "Indigo," "Violet," and "White," and they all contain probably the closest material to the Dear Hunter's previous work. However, without the proggy arrangements, I think they fall a bit short of the high bar the band has set with its previous work. There are some great songs, to be sure, but in my opinion the magic just isn't there.

Overall, this is a great collection of songs, but in my opinion it just feels too much like a side- trip to be held up to the same standard set by the band's first three albums. "The Color Spectrum" is absolutely worth having for fans of the band, and could perhaps even serve as an intro to for prog-wary listeners. However, as I don't really think any of these EPs show a hint of progressive rock, I really don't think I can say this is necessary music to have. "Good, but non-essential" pretty much sums it up.


VanVanVan | 3/5 |


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