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Dear Hunter, The - Migrant Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 80%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.19
Musicianship 8.56
Lyrics 8.75
Production 8.22
Creativity 8.42
Lasting Value 8.61
Reviewer Tilt 8.58
Average: 85%
Inside AP.net
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.

Dear Hunter, The - Migrant

Reviewed by: Drew Beringer (04/01/13)
The Dear HunterMigrant
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Record Label: Equal Vision/Cave & Canary Goods


So I’ll be honest – I’ve never been a huge Dear Hunter fan. Hell, I wasn’t even a big fan of Casey Crescenzo’s previous band, The Receiving End Of Sirens. Anyways, I’ve never had anything against The Dear Hunter’s ambition to tell an epic story over the course of various Acts. I even thought the idea of releasing a million songs that fit in a color spectrum was pretty dope, but the music just never kept my attention. Was it too ambitious? Too grandiose? Maybe. With all the different characters and settings and (for lack of better words) “gimmicks,” it was hard for me to hear any heart behind the songs. So, it’s probably a good thing that the guy who didn’t “get” Crescenzo’s previous work is reviewing The Dear Hunter’s first “normal” album – Migrant. It’s also probably not that surprising then that I think his Equal Vision (and his imprint, Cave & Canary Goods) debut is also his best yet.

That’s saying a lot because I know The Dear Hunter has legions of dedicated and passionate fans who dissect and react to his previous projects like they were the final few seasons of Lost. But Migrant is an album that features the best of both worlds – it still possesses the grandiose moments of Acts trilogy and The Color Spectrum as well as including a larger amount of heart and personality. The opening track, “Bring You Down,” is evident of this. Swelling strings start and linger throughout the mid-tempo track as Crescenzo gently sings, “Don’t let me bring you down again” before horns and cymbals erupt. It’s the perfect song to bridge old fans with new fans, as Crescenzo’s emphatic voice has never sounded better.

Migrant doesn’t compromise The Dear Hunter’s previous sound – it’s just been refined and cleaned up. It’s still incredibly sprawling and epic, as first single “Whisper” proves. But it’s also incredible intimate for Crescenzo. “The Kiss of Life” is a song you may have never heard on previous TDH releases, as its straightforward rock approach wouldn’t have fit. But underneath it still features its complexities and stellar nuanced guitar work, with its huge chorus reminiscent of Young The Giant’s “Cough Syrup.” The bluesy “Shouting at the Rain” wouldn’t feel out of place on any recent alt-country record, while the different layers on piano ballad “This Vicious Place” result in aural pleasure. Add in a track like “Sweet Naiveté” - whose orchestral quivers and crescendos intensifies the song’s stripped down manner - and some of Migrant’s best songs come are courtesty of Crescenzo’s and his piano.

If you’re an old-time fan and you’re thinking, “my god, all of that sounds awful,” let me assure you that 1) it’s not, and 2) there are still a lot of songs that’ll please your ears. “Shame” slithers in such a beautifully haunting way between the dark piano keys and simmering strings and will have your ears deep in its Blue hue. The eccentric “Girl” is full of swagger and features Crescenzo’s sister, Azia, on backing vocals during the song’s dance-y chorus. The song then takes a quick left into buzzsaw guitars over the climatic bridge. It’s the album’s most erratic song, but also its most fun. Penultimate track “Let Go” is chock full of soaring guitar riffs and triumphant horns and the ethereal “Cycles” will worm its way into your brain only to unleash a wave of crashing cymbals and chords.

Despite not following an overarching concept this time, Migrant still contains The Dear Hunter’s unique approach to song writing. Plenty of Acts and Colors show up, and that’s fine. We don’t want Crescenzo to abandon the foundations he built the Dear Hunter on. But Migrant shows just as much restraint as it does fireworks (as the raw and stripped down closer, “Don’t Look Back,” proves) and overall just feels more natural. This is going to be the record you give to your friends when you want them to check out The Dear Hunter. So while Migrant is Casey Crescenzo’s most accessible record ever, it’s also his most honest and real Dear Hunter LP yet.

8/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 59
12:46 AM on 04/01/13
#2
vivatoto56
EB was left out
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Good review. I'm a sucker for the Acts and Color Spectrum so I'm really interested to hear this.
02:54 AM on 04/01/13
#3
LetterBomb31
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I doubt it will top the Color Spectrum for me because that collection of songs was so ridiculously consistent, but I'm a big fan of this band so I'm excited to give Migrant a listen soon. Great review!
04:08 AM on 04/01/13
#4
pissand409
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I'm excited to listen to the whole thing through once I get a chance. Casey is really a great songwriter.
06:17 AM on 04/01/13
#5
mycuban
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As an avid Dear Hunter fan, I find this to be my least favorite of The Dear Hunter albums. He can't write "bad" music, so it's all solid, but it starts blending together towards the end of the record. I miss the grandiose instrumentation and recurring motifs, that's what drew me into this band in the first place.
06:50 AM on 04/01/13
#6
Archael
listens to good music
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Deerhunter > Dear Hunter
07:41 AM on 04/01/13
#7
grimis16
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Deerhunter > Dear Hunter
No way. But if we started this ...dear in the headlights > the dear hunter> deerhunter
08:00 AM on 04/01/13
#8
Archael
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Deefhunter > Dear Hunter > Dear and the Headlights
08:39 AM on 04/01/13
#9
Portugal4142
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As an avid Dear Hunter fan, I find this to be my least favorite of The Dear Hunter albums. He can't write "bad" music, so it's all solid, but it starts blending together towards the end of the record. I miss the grandiose instrumentation and recurring motifs, that's what drew me into this band in the first place.

agreed.
08:49 AM on 04/01/13
brook183
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Every time this album finishes I immediately start it over again, and I'm on about my sixth straight listen. Haven't done that with an album in a long time. Spot-on review.
08:51 AM on 04/01/13
goodguy8705
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I love this album. It hits me right in the feels.
09:23 AM on 04/01/13
theherox
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I also agree that this is his best work yet, but almost more for its simplicity than for any other reason (even though there are plenty of complexities in the nuances of the songs).

Casey himself has pretty much said that this is the first time Casey has written songs just for the songs, and not for the concepts. And it works out.

The ending of the album may get pretty slow, but the songs get better with time.
11:02 AM on 04/01/13
likedyingy0ung
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No way. But if we started this ...dear in the headlights > the dear hunter> deerhunter
The Dear Hunter > Dear and the Headlights > Deerhunter
11:04 AM on 04/01/13
likedyingy0ung
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What upsets me about this album is the fact that he wrote so much material for it and has been playing it a LOT over the last year, to the point that I've heard him play five new ones over the three times I saw him live in 2012, and only two of them (Whisper, Shouting at the Rain) made it onto Migrant, with the rest ending up on the bonus 7'' and I feel like those songs would definitely have been a better addition to the end of the album, whereas in it's actual final form it's kindof slow and blended.
11:59 AM on 04/01/13
Jake Jenkins
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People think this band is better than deerhunter? Haha, holy shit
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