Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
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Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).

lunes, 13 de febrero de 2017

The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum The Complete Collection (2011)


Zilly ya presentó formalmente esta gran banda, y ahora traemos más de dos horas de su mejor música, con su friolera de 36 canciones, un disco conformado por 9 EP's que tienen el espíritu de los colores del espectro. Un trabajo asombroso, intenso, ambicioso y sublime como para empezar la semana con todo. Super recomendado, un rock prog muy personal, en su propio estilo, un festín de excelente música que les recomiendo empecinadamente.

Artista: The Dear Hunter
Álbum: The Color Spectrum The Complete Collection
Año: 2011
Género: Rock progresivo, Crossover Prog
Duración: 144:35
Nacionalidad: EEUU


Lista de Temas:
Black EP:
1. Never Forgive, Never Forget
2. Filth and Squalor
3. Take More Than You Need
4. This Body
Red EP:
1. I Couldn't Do It Alone
2. A Curse of Cynicism
3. Deny It All
4. We've Got a Score to Settle
Orange EP:
1. Echo
2. Stuck On a Wire Out On a Fence
3. A Sea of Solid Earth
4. But There's Wolves?
Yellow EP:
1. She's Always Singing
2. The Dead Don't Starve
3. A Sua Voz
4. Misplaced Devotion

Green EP:
1. Things That Hide Away

2. The Canopy
3. Crow and Cackle
4. The Inheritance
Blue EP:
1. Tripping in Triplets

2. Trapdoor
3. What You Said
4. The Collapse of the Great Tide Cliffs
Indigo EP:
1. What Time Taught Us

2. Mandala
3. Progress
4. Therma
Violet EP:
1. Mr. Malum

2. Lillian
3. Too Late
4. Look Away
White EP:
1. Home

2. Fall and Flee
3. No God
4. Lost But Not All Gone

Alineación:
- Casey Crescenzo / Vocals, Piano, Guitar
- Nick Crescenzo / Drums, Percussion, Vocals
- Maxwell Tousseau / Guitar, Vocals
- Erick Serna / Guitar, Vocals
- Nate Patterson / Bass, Vocals




"The Color Spectrum" fue una serie de nueve EPs lanzados en 2011 por The Dear Hunter. Esto representó una ruptura con el proyecto "Acts I-VI" (del cual Zilly nos trajo el último acto). Los nueve EPs son temáticos según los colores en el espectro visible como Negro, Rojo, Naranja, Amarillo, Verde, Azul, Índigo, Violeta y Blanco .
La primera cosa que llama la atención de "The Color Spectrum" es la duración. Claramente, el grupo entendió que una colección de canciones de 36 pistas y nueve EP sería intimidante para el oyente "normal", pero no por ello dejaron de lado su lanzamiento. Por otra parte, y más pensando en el oyente casual crearon una compilación acortada de 11 canciones de "grandes éxitos" de la colección. Sea como sea, este trabajo brilla como uno de los más originales, creativos y ambiciosos en la música de hoy. Y eso que, en nuestro espacio, estamos acostumbrados a los trabajos originales, creativos y ambiciosos.
Cada uno de los nueve EPs (secciones) que componen el disco consta de cuatro canciones basadas en un color: Negro, Rojo, Naranja, Amarillo, Verde, Azul, Indigo, Violeta y Blanco. Cada uno tiene una sensación distintiva, desde los sonidos industriales y post-hardcore desde el "Black" hasta el pop soleado del "Yellow". La colección va evolucionando gradualmente de lo intenso a lo tranquilo y hasta un clímax final que combina todos los géneros utilizados anteriormente. La variedad de estilos es clara, pero la pregunta más importante tiene que ser, "¿Lo hacen realmente bien?" La respuesta es un inequívoco "¡sí!" dicho con muchas ganas.
Por si no han leído nada de este grupo, les comento que es liderado por un tal Casey Crescenzo, quien es la cabeza creativa de todo esto, y que ya viene con un currículum en la escena del rock de vanguardia de los EEUU, a veces enrolado en el indie rock, otras veces de lleno en el progresivo y atras veces dando vueltas por el estilo que tenga ganas de pasear, este disco resalta como un ejemplo de la variedad estilística que el grupo y su lìder son capaces de emprender.
El disco empieza con los tambores industriales que recuerdan a Nine Inch Nails, para dar comienzo a los cuatro temas de "Black" como procedente de un lugar oscuro. La música y las letras hacen eco de este sentimiento, con sus cuatro temas épicos y casi siniestros, que presenta las vastas ambiciones del grupo. Luego vendrà el turno de "Red" que no es tan industrial ni tan épico, y se mezcla con el rock alternativo típico. El sonido gradualmente se vuelve más orgánico a medida que las emociones se toman más tranquilas.
"Orange" me parece olvidable, pero sirve como transición adecuada a los sonidos más ligeros del "Yellow" y "Green", adentrándose en el indie-pop, en una transformación hacia el pop brillante y luminoso, canciones felices y despreocupado de "Yellow". "Green" también encuentra al grupo saliendo de su sonido habitual, con canciones acústicas despoja canciones y más básicas, basadas en una instrumentación mucho más simple en una ruptura casi inesperada pero no falta de coherencia, es lo que el grupo quiere y busca conseguir y lo logra. Luego vendràn "Blue", "Indigo" y "Violet", cada uno con su propio sonido. Desde las aventuras azuladas y bañadas de post-rock, pasando por la música electrónica y ambiental de "Indigo", mientras que "Violet" es quizás el más parecido al habitual sonido teatral de The Dear Hunter. Todos tienen sus propios encantos, sus propias características y personalidad.
El clímax final viene con "White", en una amalgama de los primeros ocho EPs. La forma más fácil de describir el blanco es que se eleva con una actitud de afirmación de la vida. al no rendirse, el continuar y prolongar nuestra actividad en este mundo, que en esencia, es el mensaje final del disco. Al final de la pista final queda la sensación de que el nirvana y el final del viaje han sido alcanzados, reuniendo todo lo fantástico de los primeros ocho EPs.
Quizàs el disco no sea perfecto aunque muchos digan que sí, pero hay muchos otros que hacen pesar sus lados negativos, aunque igualmente con un proyecto tan ambicioso, eso es de esperar. El disco tiene una gran cantidad de temas fantásticos, musicalmente complejos y al mismo tiempo accesibles y fáciles de escuchar, liricamente intensos y conmovedores. Y es que el espectro del color funciona, la gama de sonidos del espectro musical que ofrece el disco forma un sinfin de colores que se van formando desde los colore primarios. A pesar de sus defectos y exceso de ambición, es un verdadero tour de force y uno de los mejores álbumes del año 2011.
Y termino mi reseña con una pregunta: ¿qué sería del Arte sin obras ambiciosas como estas y tantas otras?, no existirían "Close to the Edge" ni "Relayer" y menos "Tales from Topographic Oceans", no existirìan los geniales discos de Gentle Giant, no existirían algunas de las mejores obras de Genesis, no existiría el Zeuhl ni el R.I.O., no existirían muchas de las obras de música clásica y sinfónica, no existiría el jazz rock, no existiría la vanguardia en general... ¿y es necesario que continúe?... creo que no.

Por último, dejo un comentario en español y debajo otros en inglès, pero en trabajos tan personales la única opinión que cuenta es la tuya.


Hoy parecía que iba a ser otro día normal. He escrito mi parte de la próxima Batalla de las Bandas y, una vez terminada, sólo me quedaba esperar que me llamaran a comer. Para hacer más ameno todo, me he ido a Rate Your Music para ver si hay algún disco sacado este año que merezca la pena. ¿PJ Harvey? No me apetece. ¿Tom Waits? Puaj. ¿The Beach Boys? Ya lo he escuchado. Espera... ¿The Dear Hunter? Indie Rock, Alternative Rock... Tal vez esté bien, a ver si está en Spotify. Vaya, ha habido suerte. Eh... ¿36 canciones? ¿2 horas y pico?
Evidentemente he superado mis temores iniciales. He escuchado discos con más canciones (69, 43, etc...), y probablemente más largos, así que... ¿por qué no?
Al parecer la intención de este proyecto llamado The Dear Hunter es hacer un disco formado por 9 EP's que tengan el espíritu de los colores del espectro, además del blanco y el negro. He de añadir que he empezado a escribir esto cuando iba por el segundo EP, el rojo, así que, como veis, me ha impactado mucho. Y estoy tremendamente feliz sabiendo que todavía me quedan siete.
El primer EP, el "Negro", nos ofrece un lado obviamente más oscuro. Imaginaos que Chester Bennington se va de Linkin' Park y le sustituyen por Alex Turner de los Arctic Monkeys (el cantante suena muy parecido a estos indies ingleses de los últimos años). Ya tenéis una idea de a qué suena. Y además tiene un toque a lo Mars Volta bastante importante, que se mantiene durante parte del disco. Dos canciones, "Filth and Squalor" y "Take More Than You Need", ya están en mi lista de destacadas, tras la primera escucha.
Durante el siguiente EP, "Rojo", he decidido criticarlo y añadirlo a mi lista de regalos navideños. Así de rápido. Tenemos un tema a lo Weezer, "I Couldn't Do It Alone", y unas importantes influencias de grupos como Muse o Foo Fighters en "A Curse of Cynicism". Dios mío, no me puedo creer que esto exista. Lo necesito ya. Si esto sigue evolucionando así, puede que acabe con una crisis nerviosa. Ocho temazos increíbles seguidos.
"Echo" da comienzo al EP naranja. El ritmo engancha con el EP anterior, pero tiene un órgano, lo que ya revoluciona todo y lo hace impepinablemente más alegre, como pasa con "Stuck On A Wire, Out On A Fence", que me recuerda a Manic Street Preachers un poco y que tiene una parte intermedia que estoy escuchando ahora mismo que... Nada, excelente. Jamás de los jamases me había golpeado tan fuerte un disco a la primera. Llevo diez canciones y siete son perfectas, y las otras tres solo son maravillosas. ¿Hay momentos de este EP que suenan un poco a Jeff Buckley?
Pudiera ser, concretamente en "A Sea of Solid Earth", que tiene un estribillo indescriptible, y un solo excelente. La que queda, "But There's Wolves", suena a Lenny Kravitz y el momento Jimmy Page del principio del solo es tremendo. Ya está la comida. Me voy a cagar en todo.
Un tercio del disco y tal vez sea lo mejor que he escuchado en los últimos veinte años. ¿Será la primera impresión? Espero que no. El EP amarillo empieza totalmente distinto. De hecho, suena muy amarillo (si me permitís la sinestesia). Alegre, alegre, alegre. Todo parece sacado de otro sitio, pero el hecho de que ya hayan metido a Linkin' Park, Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz y ahora The Beach Boys en el mismo disco merece un Nobel como mínimo. Las armonías de "She's Always Singing" TIENEN que ser robadas de Brian Wilson. La batería potente y las guitarras atmosféricas no desaparecen en las siguientes canciones, que suenan muy psicodélicas rollo Flaming Lips o algo así. Lo mejor es que todas las canciones hasta ahora son absolutamente asequibles para cualquiera que le guste la música, pero totalmente distintas entre sí. Y tengo el presentimiento de que lo que me queda va a ser todavía más novedoso.
Esta crítica va a ser larga: aún nos queda un poco más de la mitad. El verde suena acústico, indie folk. Eso puede que haga que mi atención se desvíe progresivamente, aunque los fantásticos golpes de piano y cuerdas (¡y pedal steel guitar! No esperaba oír una pedal steel guitar aquí...) de "Things That Hide Away" se encargan de mantenerla. ¿Tengo que recordar que al principio parecía una especie de metal alternativo y ahora suenan como los Fleet Foxes, o incluso country ("The Canopy")? Estos tíos son unos genios. Ha evolucionado radicalmente sin que me diera casi ni cuenta, EP a EP. Esto puede acabar convirtiéndose en metal vikingo o en pop a lo Britney Spears. Francamente, ninguna de las dos cosas me haría cambiar de opinión. Ah, y por si fuera poco, las letras son excelentes: "Waking up I felt that hesitation/like I wasn't meant to wake up at all/letting out a soft cynical sigh/my god it's just the answer to the question I can't find".
El azul sigue manteniendo ese sonido suave, un poco folk, aunque deja entrar cierta experimentación en cuanto a los ambientes, como en "Tripping in Triplets", con una guitarra y varios sonidos extraños al fondo. Sigue siendo perfecto, pero muy distinto. Poco a poco, ese ambiente se hace más importante (creado sobre todo por las guitarras). El final de "What You Said", sin ir más lejos, suena un poco a unos Radiohead ruidosamente brillantes. O post-rock, como algunos lo han llamado. Esta parte es un poco Band of Horses, por comparar con alguien, aunque más potente.
Añil, o índigo, o como se quiera. El comienzo es totalmente distinto a todo lo anterior: un sintetizador siniestro que da paso a algo que suena a música electrónica indie experimental alucinante. Así es "What Time Taught Us": crea una atmósfera sensacional con unos ritmos tecno imposibles, de lo más original, con vibráfonos y coros celestiales. Vamos, a lo que sonaría el último disco de Radiohead si fuera bueno. "Mandala" empieza totalmente "ambient", y solo la voz de Casey Crescenzo y el piano nos mantiene atados cuando la canción explota en un estribillo emocionante. Como hemos llegado hasta aquí, sigo sin saberlo.
Estamos llegando casi al final: el penúltimo EP es el violeta, que se supone más cercano a los últimos trabajos de la banda. "Mr. Malum" es tremenda, me recuerda al rock progresivo puro a lo Spock's Beard, con el piano casi circense y esas cuerdas juguetonas (casi como "The Trial", de Pink Floyd). Tras esa fase electrónica (completamente magnífica, pero electrónica al fin y al cabo), volvemos al rock más peculiar. Igual pasa con "Lillian", a ritmo de vals, o con el jazz/tango de "Look Away". Este EP está dominado por las cuerdas y el piano. ¿Por qué son tan asquerosamente buenos? Como les odio... Y eso que esta mañana no les conocía.
Y al fin... el fin. El EP "blanco", que vuelve un poco a la zona naranja/amarilla/azul, a un pop/rock precioso, intenso y pretencioso, si me apuras. Un poco Coldplay, en esa onda, está "Fall and Flee" o "Lost But All Not Gone", aunque la alegría que transmiten es inigualable.
Esta última en concreto es totalmente fantástica, con un estribillo brutal y revitalizante a más no poder, una joya dentro de un disco plagado de ellas.
Y así concluyen dos horas y media de un disco fantástico a más no poder, de una banda que acaba de adelantar a DAVID BOWIE en mi lista personal de artistas preferidos cuando hace cinco horas no les conocía (habrá que esperar a que se asienten, que luego acaban perdiendo puestos). Definitivamente, hoy no ha sido un día normal...
LO MEJOR: Básicamente Rojo, Naranja, Amarillo, Violeta y Blanco.
LO PEOR: Me ha quitado las ganas de crear música a corto plazo.
NOTA: 10/10. Sin más. Tira todos los discos que tengas de los últimos diez años y compra este.
Moctezuma




Y por supuesto, vamos con los comentarios de terceros, ahora en inglés, para que no te quedes con la voz de una sola campana...


Casey Crescenzo and his project The Dear Hunter are one of the greatest bands my generation will ever see, he creates music that is so thoughtful and beautiful yet remains very mainstream and accessible. And yet he isn't afraid to let a little self-indulgence show like releasing nine EPs at once.
This collection is essential listening for almost every fan of prog rock (the standard edition just doesn't give you the full listening experience). Each EP has it's own atmosphere, flavor, texture, etc. and yet it's all connected in some weird way. While not all tracks are completely flawless (many on the first half of the collection are almost too mainstream for me) there literally is not a bad one. The guy just rights good songs, he has never, and I mean never, released a song that isn't well composed and well performed. That's just not how he does things.
This release really shows the solidity of The Dear Hunter and their ability to produce extremely grandoise and majestic releases while never getting to far "out there". Real highlights are the Green, Indigo and White EPs but you really can't go wrong with any of them.
An excellent release and intermission in The Dear Hunter 6-album project. Can't wait for more from these guys, Act IV or not.
Tanner


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.
3/5
Alec V.


I suppose I could just copied parts of what I was writing for the last few hours in Singles/EP sections, but you can easily find it there, so I won't make more of it. Needless to say that I was uncertain about what rating finally give. There are some four stars, most of them three stars and even one (indigo) with two stars rating. Well, but it's a hell of a concept, ambitious and proceeded more or less well. The length of it is inevitable, there's not much more to do about it, but still, it can get tiresome, just to listen so many minutes at once. The only that long album I had no problems with was Moon Safari's Blomljud, but that's an exception (even these Collosus compilations in VA section were too long to listen at once, as is this). 3 stars, but be vary that these are 3(+), almost four, but not quite. It's a terrific concept, but I have a candidate for 4 stars, you can see it with trimmed down version of this album.
Marty McFly


This is an amazing collection which is definitely worth your while to search for. What this is is a concept box set of 9 EPs of 4 songs each. Each EP is named after a color in the visible color spectrum. In the vinyl edition, each EP is pressed in the appropriate color of vinyl. For vinyl collectors, even that is enough to make one salivate uncontrollably. Once I heard about the release of this, I pre-ordered it for close to $100.00. It's definitely worth more that that now. But, it's not enough for The Deer Hunter to put together an attractive box set. They have to go and write 36 excellent songs to go on these EPs. This box set is chock full of top notch, high quality music, mostly sung by the lead singer and songwriter Casey Crescenzo. This guy has an amazing voice with an unbelievable range and incredible dynamics. This guy has drama in his voice that you would not believe, drama that even matches that of Freddy Mercury's, but so very well controlled. He doesn't show off that voice unless it's called for in the song, so it's not over the top, but it's there. Oh boy, is it there.
The concept here is not that the songs are tied together by a story. It is more of an idea in each group of four songs on the EPs are related to the colors by timbre, genre, feeling. In other words, the Black EP is heavy and dark, while the Yellow EP is bright and sunny, with Green being somewhat folkish in nature. Being an Indie-folk fan myself, I love this EP, and consider it my favorite, but all of them are excellent. One other reviewer here went so far as to name several bands that were similar to the music on each EP so you can get an idea of how each one sounds. I think he got it pretty close. The amazing thing here is that one band is making all of these wonderful excellent sounds. The songs themselves are individual songs not tied together by anything except color which represents the style. These are all accessible songs, but they are all high quality, beautiful and excellent.
This would have to go down as being one of the most ambitious and original concepts I can think of. And the great thing is that it's all done so very well. I listen to these songs and can't find any weaknesses among the styles of rock music that are presented. That is the thing that makes this progressive is the idea and the quality of the music. These are straightforward songs averaging about 4 minutes each. There is nothing epic except for the concept and the release of the concept. Not much in the way of meter changes or ingenuity in the music itself, but you can listen to all +2 hours of this and not get tired of the music. I consider this progressive because of the concept itself and the quality of the music. Awesomeness and ingenuity, you get it all here.
If you can't bring yourself to purchasing the entire collection, there is an album which is an 11 track single album which pulls together selections from each EP, but there is sooooooo much you miss by not having the entire collection. The Deer Hunter has other albums that are more accessible as far as price goes and that have more prog elements than this, so only for that reason can I not give this 5 stars, simply because it's not what I would call essential, but if you haven't heard them, I would suggest getting one of the traditionally sized albums. I will warn you though, it will make you want to save up your money for this excellent addition. In my own personal collection and rating system, this has 5 stars, but for Prog Archive rating purposes simply because of it's inaccessibility tied to price and the availability of other Deer Hunter albums, I will give it 4 stars. Excellent stuff people!
TCat

One of the most difficult issues I have when writing a review is where to start. That's why I don't write too many reviews. And with this album, or collection of EPs to be more accurate, I am having more difficulty than ever; not because there's nothing to say - far from it. This collection of songs are so diverse from EP to EP that there is too much to say. It is an awesome achievement by Casey Crescenzo and the band to pull off such consistent, high-quality output across all 36 tracks. There is not one dud track here. Of course we all have preferences and there will be some tracks that when time is short and one can't play the entire 2.5 hours worth of music, some tracks will be chosen over others. But for now, I have had the pleasure and benefit of playing all tracks as a collection on over half-a-dozen occasions and it is really the best way to take it all in and enjoy the ride! The concept of representing each colour in the spectrum via an EP of 4 tracks is pretty much par for the course for The Dear Hunter as they take a break from the ongoing release of the 7 Acts series. They're only up to Act III so expect Act IV to be the next release from this fabulous band. This is a band who think big in concept and value and nothing is done in small measures. And one really wants to take care in presenting a review that does their fantastic work justice. Throughout the various styles on display here and the diverse characteristics represented by each colour, melodies and hooks are never far away and each EP delivers them in abundance.
Taking each EP in turn, briefly:
1. Black: Heavy progressive rock, complex (think Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, Muse)
2. Red: Heavy, lively, hard-rock (think Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures)
3. Orange: Loud, lively, bluesy, guitar driven (think Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kula Shaker)
4. Yellow: Power pop, summery, uplifting (think Phil Spector, Jellyfish, R.E.M)
5. Green: Acoustic, reflective, country rock (think Jeff Buckley, Neil Young, Starsailor)
6. Blue: Soulful, blues, slow-rock (think Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Thirteen Senses)
7. Indigo: Warm, ambient, rhythmic (think Peter Gabriel, Depeche Mode, Boards of Canada)
8. Violet: Quirky, vaudeville, highly-melodic (think Panic At The Disco, OneRepublic, Maroon 5)
9. White: Contemporary rock, progressive related, anthemic (think Keane, Muse, Coldplay)
Of course, one of the most difficult aspects of this project to pull off, is the unique identification of specific colours through music and conveying the 'personality' of each to the extent that one should be able to listen to a track and understand and recall the colour concerned. In reality and on the first few listens (before familiarity takes a hold) one would probably have had a successful stab at some and maybe no more than a 50% success rate. That in itself does not present any kind of failure on behalf of this project though as one's interpretation of colour is personal. The music itself, if one ignores the concept, is so fabulous it deserves to be heard. One reason I have tried to compare each EP with commercially recognised and arguably more popular artists, is to give a flavour of what the new listener should expect in the hope that such comparison will encourage more buyers; because sure as hell, Casey Crescenzo and The Dear Hunter deserve the sales for such ambition, talent and brilliant execution.
This is my album of 2011 so far and dare I say it is unlikely to be surpassed. 5 stars with no hesitation.
Martin Crumpton

It is difficult to find flaws damning enough to consider this anything other than one of 2011’s premier releases in alternative rock. The Dear Hunter present to us their crowning achievement to date; enjoy it.
Ambition can be the best thing or the worst thing to happen to an album. Too much of it without a clear premise can lead to disaster…however, with the perfect blend of novelty, execution, and talent, it can yield a timeless masterpiece. One doesn’t need to look beyond the likes of Radiohead or Pink Floyd to witness a first rate concept album that, despite its overabundance of pretension, succeeds on just about every level. Now our darling alt-rockers, The Dear Hunter, with their theatrical approach and penchant for storylines between albums, don’t strike us as a generation defining band – but they certainly are not as appalling as Sum 41 (Underclass Hero) or My Chemical Romance (Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys) either. The truth about their latest album, or technically I should call it an EP collection, is that it is right where you would expect it to be within that realm of comparison: somewhere in the middle.
Fortunately though, that doesn’t mean that The Color Spectrum is mediocre. In fact, it is a hell of a lot closer to the aforementioned timeless albums than it is to anything disappointing. The Dear Hunter have created a grand musical opus that rarely disappoints, is consistently thrilling, and is extremely memorable. In fact, its primary (and perhaps only) failings occur within the execution of the “color spectrum” concept, which despite its originality, is never fully realized through the music. It isn’t like when Thrice created The Alchemy Index, and you could hear one song and know whether it was from the “Fire”, “Water”, “Earth”, or “Air” disk. To be fair though, The Dear Hunter have taken on a far more ambitious concept, releasing nine separate EPs reflecting each color on the spectrum. Not only is that a lot of music to write, but colors are a bit harder to represent through music than elements. It isn’t as simple as throwing a lot of reverb at the listeners when you want them to feel scorched and utilizing an array of echoing digital effects to cool them down. How one goes about representing a color is more subtle, and it takes a keen ear on both the artist’s and listener’s part to appreciate what the notes are trying to represent, what emotions they are trying to bring out, and ultimately, what color they are trying to make you feel. The ambiguity of the idea also leaves a lot open to interpretation; what blue means to me may mean something entirely different to you, and it could evoke completely different emotional responses. But in order to avoid a full neurological dissection of electric impulses in the human brain, let’s just say it’s like choosing animals for a class project and expecting to be able to encapsulate the topic’s essence in one presentation. It just isn’t going to happen. Here, it seems that The Dear Hunter may have taken on an idea that is slightly too broad for its own good – sure, they absolutely nail it occasionally, but they never really gather consistent conceptual momentum. For all of its catchiness, quality craftsmanship, and songwriting prowess, The Color Spectrum isn’t focused enough to achieve its ultimate goal.
Despite that noticeable flaw, The Color Spectrum rolls on all cylinders from just about every other perspective. Musically it is massive, but the division of the music into EPs as well as its sheer listenability prevent The Color Spectrum from becoming overbearing at any point. Each “color” has at least one awe-inspiring moment, and more often than not, The Dear Hunter see every EP through from start to finish. While it may be true that some songs cause the work as a whole to drag a little bit (especially on “White” and “Blue”), there are about three triumphant moments for every dull one…and in most people’s books, a seventy-five percent “hit” rate is worthy of celebration and/or recognition. Some of the best tracks come along when The Dear Hunter are completely out of their element, such as the folksy, borderline-country ditty ‘The Canopy’, the sunny pop tune ‘She’s Always Singing’, and ‘Misplaced Devotion’ - a track that evokes memories of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. That doesn’t mean that the band never goes back to their bread and butter, though. “Violet” in particular sees The Dear Hunter return to their element, crafting overtly theatrical, heavily orchestrated songs with giant choruses and even bigger hooks. ‘Lillian’ and ‘Look Away’ may be the best evidence we have that The Dear Hunter haven’t lost their classic sound, and for devoted followers, that Act IV will continue along the highly anticipated path set by its predecessors.
In addition to the album’s overall accessibility and high rate of execution, it is also one of the most diverse records you will have heard in the past few years, bordering on the term “genre-defying.” For every mood, every musical taste, and every person, there is something to like on The Color Spectrum. There’s the way that “Black” stays rooted in more of a rock n’ roll vein while successfully integrating lush electronic beats and driving basslines; the way that “Red” illustrates passion through blistering riffs and the inclusion of Andy Hull (of Manchester Orchestra) on guest vocals; the way that “Yellow” is so unexpectedly delightful while pushing The Dear Hunter’s pop boundaries…in fact, “Yellow” may be the most immediately gratifying of the EPs (if not the best outright) simply because the band pushes such an unlikely “pop” direction and still manages to flourish. Each color brings something new to the table, and even if the music and colors don’t seem to correspond in any noticeable way, they still serve as an effective means for separating The Dear Hunter’s methods of experimentation. “Indigo” may be the most electronic-oriented piece, as songs like ‘Progress’ seem capable of blazing an entirely new frontier for the band. As unlikely as it is that The Dear Hunter will go all dubstep on us in the near future, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of these characteristics – which currently only stand as experiments – leak over into future projects and become a permanent aspect of their sound. “Orange” is probably the least distinguishable of the EPs, as it sounds very similar to the styles surrounding “Red”, but it still offers us one of The Color Spectrum’s catchiest hits in ‘But There’s Wolves?’ - a track that thrives off of Crescenzo’s emotional vocal performance and a strong guitar solo during the final minute and a half. To make a long story short, The Color Spectrum is an album that can be enjoyed by a wide range of musical audiences, not just The Dear Hunter diehards.
In the end, The Color Spectrum is an impressively consistent and shockingly varied album from a band that is likely gain a whole new level of respect as a result. It takes your ears and your mind to destinations that you never thought The Dear Hunter was capable of going before. It rocks out with songs like ‘Filth and Squalor.’ It brightens your day (‘A Sua Voz’). It puts you on the quiet hills of the countryside (‘Crow and Cackle’), and then takes you out to the hottest night club in town (‘Therma’). The Color Spectrum may not be perfectly executed from a conceptual perspective, but you have to hand it to The Dear Hunter for trying because they end up making one hell of a rock album in the process. In fact, The Color Spectrum may be most appreciated when listened to as nothing more than that; or perhaps when observed as nine individual EPs instead of one cohesive work. Either way, it is difficult to find flaws damning enough to consider this anything other than one of 2011’s premier releases in alternative rock. It is simply too grand - too overwhelmingly impressive in its scope – not to be enjoyed by fans of all genres. The Dear Hunter present to us their crowning achievement to date; enjoy it.
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