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The Dear Hunter - Migrant CD (album) cover


The Dear Hunter

Crossover Prog

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4 stars The Dear Hunter were formed out of the ashes of post-hardcore band The Receiving End Of Sirens in around 2005, with vocalist Casey Crescenzo looking to create a more conceptual and progressive rock based band. Crescenzo came up with the 6-album concept of the Dear Hunter, and completed three of the six albums before getting bored. And after 2011's 36-song "The Color Spectrum", which entitled of 9 four-song EPs on each of the colours, The Dear Hunter have released their first album without a concept, "Migrant"

Although I do love a good concept to keep an album together, I feel that Casey and his men were leaning on it a bit too much, and this album definitely shows them stretching lyrically and musically. Although the early Dear Hunter releases certainly dwelled on the progressive and alternative scenes, "Migrant" is a straight-up indie rock record, and one of the best in recent years. Taking influence from the orchestral and chamber indie of Sufjan Stevens and Fleet Foxes, Crescenzo has created a wonderful standalone record, with as many wonderful pop hooks as progressive touches that gained him a following in the first place.

Opening single "Whisper" is a shoe-in for one of the top songs for 2013, with the sort of delightful chorus that I'd love to hear grace modern radio waves, if only they paid attention to the music scene. This entire album reeks positive energy, in fact. Album opener "Bring You Down" is one of the best feel-good songs I've heard, and the orchestral backing influenced by the aforementioned Sufjan Stevens throughout the album really works toward The Dear Hunter's newer, more uplifting style.

Report this review (#981313)
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
The Truth
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars It is interesting to consider how Casey Crescenzo is drifting further away from alt-prog with The Dear Hunter and shifting back to what sound like his post-hardcore roots. What makes this interesting, is the fact that his music nevertheless sounds fresh and original. Not progressive, but he still produces albums that give the listener thoughtful and heartfelt tunes.

Migrant is sort of the epitome of this, the songs are catchy beyond all catchiness. We see pieces on this record that could have very easily fit in one of the excellent Color Spectrum EPs yet may even have a better production quality to them that they benefit from greatly. Some moments recall the first three acts of the concept album series but for the most part, Crescenzo stays fairly basic in his songwriting which is by no means a bad thing.

Just give the album a listen, you'll enjoy it. You may not be drawn in to it by some fantastic storyline like you were with the old records, but I guarantee, you will enjoy the songs.

4 stars for a solid record.

Report this review (#990096)
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars The kind of music I'd love to hear on the radio, but not from the Dear Hunter

With Migrant, the Dear Hunter has migrated into a new sound. They seemed to have stepped into the realm of generic. The Dear Hunter has always straddled the line between prog and indie effectively, but this album would feel more at home on the indie rock shelf. Many of the songs are just that. Songs.

The album starts of strongest with Bring You Down and Whisper, but the following songs fail to reach the same level of interest. Bring You Down is a great intro to the album, and really got my hopes up for what was to come. Whisper is a good song with a catchy melody, and I would LOVE to hear this come on the radio at some point, but coming from the Dear Hunter, its simply a little disappointing. Most tracks lack the standout elements that have made the Dear Hunter great and unique, and as a result the album falls into mediocrity.

While I enjoy this album, its definitely not the best of what Casey and gang have to offer. For that, check out Act II or the Color Spectrum. Perhaps I am being overly critical by giving a two star rating, but I really expected more. Decent album with good songwriting, but seems most prog elements (and excitement) have been lost here. Fans like myself will surely enjoy it, but I would not recommend this as a starting point for those new to TDH. Maybe you could listen to it with your hipster friends who generally don't like prog? 2/5 Stars.

Report this review (#1004967)
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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