The Dear Hunter
Violet


4.5
superb

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
October 1st, 2011 | 25 replies | 14,030 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: put centre stage: regret, remorse, regard

9 of 10 thought this review was well written

Results are in: Judge Judy and executioner both agree, Violet sounds the most like The Dear Hunter. Out of all the EPs, sir Casey Crescenzo are smack dab in the middle of their comfort zone on Violet; guns, horses and horns ablaze. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. But if The Color Spectrum has taught us but one damn thing, it’s that if you’ve passed the endurance test and listened to this entire thing chronologically, you know The Dear Hunter don’t have a box to think outside of. The entire world of music is their comfort zone until proven otherwise. Violet is more accurately the sound of Crescenzo and co. ironing out the theatrics they were toying with on Act III... only, of course, they’ve amplified it. They brought in the big guns - you’re dealing with some serious trombones, spy-movie motifs and harpsichords here. And if you thought ‘The Tank’ was pretty dramatic and indulgent for a prog-pop song, wait until you here the string arrangement on ‘Lillian’. Violet may find The Dear Hunter revisiting familiar territory but they’ve never done it quite like this. That cozy little comfort zone of theirs just keeps expanding.

Just like the colourblind Dear Hunter of the yesteryear, new-improved-polychromatic Crescenzo embraces subtlety like a porcupine embraces a balloon. But somehow, karma’s on the winning team this time - Violet is impeccably orchestrated and composed, containing some of The Dear Hunter’s absolute best pop compositions ever. At its least accessible is opener ‘Mr. Malum’, a confident, thespian romp of dramatic string arrangements, gang vocals and one delightfully catchy chorus lamenting yet another one of Crescenzo’s seedy caricatures. And it’s only fitting Crescenzo is singing about ill-intentioned, fictitious douchebags again when the the music is damn show-biz. I mean, really, the guy’s more intimate lyricism would be so uncomfortably juxtaposed with all the clarinets and fairydust of Violet that it might’ve possibly ruined the entire atmosphere. Luckily, the clarinets and whatnot get special treatment: take, for example the Bond swagger of ‘Look Away’; ripe with stuttered consonants, alliterating narrative and Crescenzo’s most cocky, asserted vocal performance yet. It’s one of the collection’s cheekiest and finest cuts.

And even then, ‘Look Away’, in all its grandeur, is no ‘Lillian’. Mark my words, ‘Lillian’ just might be the best song The Dear Hunter have ever written. Underscored by impeccably composed plucked strings and a slow, rhythmic 23/4 build-up to a huge chorus (you heard me right), ‘Lillian’ is the most comfortable yet intelligent arrangement the band has pulled off. Complimented by a suitably and truly epic chorus, Crecenzo warns us “don’t get stuck in something you hate” over the pitch-perfect, half-time drums and absolutely, absolutely perfect string arrangement. Did I mention those strings? They couldn’t be mentioned enough. For all the successes The Dear Hunter managed on this project, ‘Lillian’ is the crown jewel of the collection on its own and a testament to how the band’s drama-queen syndrome is finally blossoming into something valuable. The bombast is no longer just fun and ridiculous on a novelty level, it’s quality songwriting and impressive arrangements - instrumentally, lyrically and vocally. And that’s what makes Violet one of the best EPs on The Color Spectrum. The theatrics that once were their in their “experiment-zone” on Act III are now part of their ever-expanding “comfort-zone”. Oh, what a long way we’ve come from ‘The Pimp and the Priest’...



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user ratings (231)
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excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
October 1st 2011



11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i enjoy how these ep reviews allow me to be as zany as i want. four points to whoever knows where the judge judy
mention comes from...

my second favourite ep i think!

cb123
October 1st 2011



2006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of the better ones for sure, starting to really love this collection

po0ty
October 1st 2011



487 Comments


http://i.imgur.com/Uxo3Q.png

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2011



10071 Comments


Great review man, I really like Violet. I think Blue has turned out to be my favorite, unexpectedly

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Waior
October 1st 2011



11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pooty, that's pretty much how the eps sound actually. minus the regality of this one haha, not even

thanks ohama. i like your tiara

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2011



10071 Comments


Aw shucks! I think it complements my beard rather nicely.

I like your, uh, pooping abilities?

Waior
October 1st 2011



11451 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I try

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8e80XDwc10



Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2011



10071 Comments


Oh my god, I loved that. Modern Family is so great; it makes me forget about all the shittier shows on television these days.

Destructerator
October 1st 2011



853 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fuck yes, easily my favorite part of the album.

Actually, now that I think about it, I much prefer these shorter EPs, makes less room for error.

NeutralThunder12
October 1st 2011



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

this EP utilizes everything I love about great songwriting.

NeutralThunder12
October 1st 2011



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Lillian possibly is their best song, lyrically its by far their most meaningful and insightful. fuckkk

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2011



7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sigh. Waior, can I borrow your brain the next time I want to do some reviewing? Thanks.

Love,
Irv.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

RedSky
October 1st 2011



283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@RiffOClock

It makes sense that you're commenting here then.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2011



23807 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I havent really given The Color Spectrum a proper listen in a long time.

sweet review though Caleb, almost as awesome as that avatar (almost)

Aids-pos! (they're worth more fyi)

TheArkitecht
October 1st 2011



1672 Comments


One of the better EP's from the collection, only managed to make it through all of them once and it was a true test of patience and endurance. But an awesome test nonetheless.

Lakes.
October 1st 2011



27004 Comments


I concur with your rating waior. Probably my favorite EP other than Indigo.

Digging: Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 1st 2011



10593 Comments


Really excellent review, Caleb. But sadly it's my least favorite : (

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2011



10071 Comments


Xeno, u crazy!

tiesthatbind
October 2nd 2011



7373 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One of my least favorites as well.

Destructerator
October 31st 2011



853 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This rocks hard.



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