The Dear Hunter
Migrant


4.5
superb

Review

by Bryan Edwin USER (7 Reviews)
March 26th, 2013 | 94 replies


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Casey Crescenzo creates his most introverted album to date, with stunning results.

For those unfamiliar with The Dear Hunter, here is a brief summary: the band is the progressive/indie/experimental brainchild of Casey Crescenzo. Between 2006 and 2009, Casey released the first three parts in what was originally planned to be a six-part concept album series following the life of a young boy known as “The Dear Hunter”. In 2011, Casey took a quick turn by dropping The Color Spectrum, an overly ambitious collection of nine EPs, each representing a musical interpretation of a particular colour.

In the past, Casey’s music has been rather eccentric. Although Acts I-III and The Color Spectrum have been hailed as “crowning achievements in rock”, Casey has proven album after album that his ambition can sometimes get the better of him, resulting in what some describe as “lazy songwriting”. Casey has always written within the scope of a single concept, with his lyrics and musical arrangements often filtered through this lens.

On Migrant, Casey has really broken his own mold. Migrant is the first album by The Dear Hunter to not be unified by a single narrative. Casey has instead written 12 songs that, although not driven by narrative, are unified by the concept of looking within oneself and facing one’s own faults. The end result is that Migrant is massive, triumphant, and heart-wrenchingly honest – a pleasant surprise from a band infamous for its obscure narratives.

From the opening tracks “Bring You Down” and “Whisper”, it is clear that Casey is on to something big. Casey’s compositional skills have vastly improved from The Color Spectrum. Although the arrangements at first seem simpler, Casey has taken a lot of care with the subtleties: the jazzy piano flourishes, the string arrangements, and the overall intricate dynamics of each song. And while lead single “Whisper” might make it seem like The Dear Hunter have taken a stadium-esque, Arcade Fire approach, the album does not have the same energy – but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Migrant continues to spiral deeper and deeper into Casey’s thoughts, as the album begins to slow in pace with only a few energetic moments on “Girl” and in the outro of “Cycles”. However, Casey surprises you with one of the album’s shining moments, “Let Go”, a 6/8 titan of a song which builds to a massive, jazzy climax, only to wind down with the remaining two tracks.

Overall, Migrant is a huge step forward for Casey Crescenzo and The Dear Hunter. The compositions are more honest and less superfluous; the lyrics are just as sincere. Casey takes a look in the mirror and shows himself to the world through what may just be his magnum opus – a conscious effort to write what he really knows, with a sincerity unmatched by any work in The Dear Hunter’s collection.



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user ratings (343)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (4)
Breathe in and let go....

Quadrochosis (4.5)
To escape.. to escape...


Comments:Add a Comment 
elephantREVOLUTION
March 26th 2013


2744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that was fast

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I wonder what you'll think about it when you're actually done listening to it!

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

zxlkho
March 26th 2013


3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I haven't even finished the album yet. What the fuck dude

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Although Acts I-III and The Color Spectrum have been hailed as “crowning achievements in rock”


who the fuck says this?

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

if the rest of the album is like songs 1-3 we're in trouble. "Shame" is kinda lame and so is the opener.

brocoy
March 26th 2013


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually did listen to the whole album and didn't write a single word until it was finished.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


1992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Lazy songwriting? No way. Having sat down to try to flesh out a tune, there's just no way you can call anything Casey's done lazy.

This review isn't bad and the language in it isn't poor by any means, but it sure does come across as premature and unfulfilling.

I'm about done with my second playthrough, btw. Album is lovely - much softer than their other LPs, but still laced with twists and turns where appropriate. "Girl" is probably my favorite right now. The ending of the album is kind of abrupt, though.

Drummerboy123
March 26th 2013


2356 Comments


Doing a review after one listen of an album is a bit stretched.

Doubt this is a 4.5.

Gonna listen now.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 26th 2013


10594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Act II is really the only thing I've really, really dug from this band. I am crazy about that album though.

Drummerboy123
March 26th 2013


2356 Comments


"Act II is really the only thing I've really, really dug from this band. I am crazy about that album though." [2]

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


1992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Act II is brilliant. I loved The Color Spectrum as well and there's a good amount of really good stuff on Acts I and III. But Act II is just the best.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


10203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1

Act II has their best music, but it really drags towards the end. I'd have been perfectly fine with them cutting a couple of the closing tracks.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


1992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Really? "Red Hands" on through the end are some of my favorites.

zxlkho
March 26th 2013


3463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dear Ms. Leading and Black Sandy Beaches are two of their best songs

Ire
March 26th 2013


41780 Comments


who the fuck says this?


lol 123

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


10203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.1

I've always differed from others on this, but I could definitely do without those two tracks.

Calc
March 26th 2013


12191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol this happens everytime someone has to be first to review something popular.

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

sixdegrees
March 26th 2013


17088 Comments


I don't know how much a rushed review based off of one listen is worth but ok

Digging: School Food Punishment - Air Feel, Color Swim

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2013


1992 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Blasphemy - "Black Sandy Beaches" is wonderful. "Dear Ms. Leading" is still great, but I do agree it's not one of the album's best.

Ziio
March 26th 2013


55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think the complete Color Spectrum is the best thing he's done.

After a first listen, there are some great songs here. Let Go stuck out for me.



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