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The Dear Hunter - Act II: The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading (Cover Artwork)

The Dear Hunter

The Dear Hunter: Act II: The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding Ms. LeadingAct II: The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading (2007)
Triple Crown Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: sweetpeasuziesweetpeasuzie
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The Dear Hunter's frontman Casey Crescenzo shows that there is life after being a part of the Receiving End Of Sirens with the release of the Dear Hunter's debut full-length album, Act II: The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading on Triple Crown Records. Act II is the followup to the ban.
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The Dear Hunter's frontman Casey Crescenzo shows that there is life after being a part of the Receiving End Of Sirens with the release of the Dear Hunter's debut full-length album, Act II: The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading on Triple Crown Records. Act II is the followup to the band's 2006 debut EP Act I: The Lake South, The River North. Produced, engineered, and mixed by Crescenzo, Act II is a requiem of orchestral rock, jazz-pop, and country blues proportions with sections of banjo performed by Crescenzo's father Phil Crescenzo, the harp played by Krysten Keches, violins conducted by Matt Tobin, trumpet and French horn treatments from Jason Belcher, and cello accents by Philip Wolford and Brandon Brooks.

The album is a rock drama about a boy whose mother, Ms. Terri from Act I, dies and the boy is set into the world on his own. Each track is a narration of his tale, sometimes taking on a hard-edged guitar rock delivery reminiscent of Circa Survive and Thrice like the tunage for "Dear Ms. Leading," and at other times a country blues shading with orchestral tones like on "The Oracles on the Delphi Express." Some aspects of the Dear Hunter's music, which may remind fans of Crescenzo's former band, is the use of transitions to produce lively tempo changes and layers of stimulation and mobility through the melodies. The harmonies are spot on, like the rumbling drumbeats accelerating the swirls of horns and angelic bell chimes. There is a cabaret/theatrical-pop vibe in tracks like "The Bitter Suite" and "Smiling Swine," which also features finger-snapping backbeats and arousing jazz-pop textures.

The country rock melody on "Black Sandy Beaches" spins a striking acoustic guitar and string arrangement while the rhythmic motions for "Blood of the Rose" have a classic tango clasp. The keyboard ascensions on "Where the Road Parts" have a similar orientation to Panic! at the Disco while the piano taps on "Vital Vessle Vindicates" have a jazz-pop lacquer. The rolling vocals and soft rock momentum of "Red Hands" places the focus on Crescenzo's voice and words as he sings, "Even if you never strayed from me I'd question your fidelity / There'll always be a shroud of suspicion and my heart's a liability / With your hands maroon so freshly red / Wrap your lips around my neck / Try and force to love the thought of me / Simple motions make me ill." The lyrics reflect on crushed feelings that were once filled with trust but have become crippled and beaten down by people's deceit and are now consumed with skepticism. The lyrics are dark but still desire to believe.

The Dear Hunter, whose members include Crescenzo on lead vocals and multiple instruments, keyboardist Luke Dent, his brother and the band's drummer Sam Dent, and guitarist Erick Serna have put together a very ambitious album that takes fans through a number of music prisms from classic chamber pop and orchestral textures to country blues, jazz-pop, and modern rock. Act II works on many levels from art rock to pop-rock to world music. The album goes beyond the music Crescenzo was making with the Receiving End of Sirens, but keeps it just as stimulating.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
iandisurvive (June 25, 2007)

that is one of the most pretentious album titles i have ever seen

Anonymous (June 24, 2007)

"The album is a rock drama about a boy whose mother, Ms. Terri from Act I, dies and the boy is set into the world on his own."

Score is for grammar.

taxidermy (June 24, 2007)

here's an album with layers of music performed by insanely talented musicians that touch on a million different styles within one disc yet somehow make it work and nobody gives a fuck. tim armstrong mumbles over 3 bar chords for 12 songs and that's at least debatable. awesome.

i know it's punknews.org but nobody ever said the dearhunter was supposed to be punk. regardless of the thought of jazz chords or, god forbid, a string section scaring you. this is some good, original music.

if you're a fan of queen, i'd really suggest it. it's not by any means a rip-off but alot of it is in the same vein.

and for the record, i don't even dislike tim armstrong's music, but jesus christ people...

Anonymous (June 23, 2007)

The epitome of awful. Triple crown is a terrible label.

-GreenVandal

SloaneDaley (June 23, 2007)

sweet pea suzie eh? that was my name at camp...

icapped2pac (June 23, 2007)

What the fuck is a "music prism"?

The first song on their myspace page sounds like fucking showtunes. Bunch of shapeshifting shitsniffers.

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

shit sucks. stop letting street team members write reviews

Hey_Asshole (June 22, 2007)

retarded record title

joeg (June 22, 2007)

"finger-snapping backbeats and arousing jazz-pop textures."

you write for npr, don't you?

FatTony (June 22, 2007)

Love this album, but that review was fucking annoying.

Anonymous (June 22, 2007)

A) Deerhunter > this band.
B) I'm writing a SHellac review, with luck I'll get it in in time for it to be up on tuesday.
-Osloboditelj, not bothering to log in.

SydBarrett420 (June 22, 2007)

Also the version of "Red Hands" is just a poor send up of the original.

SydBarrett420 (June 22, 2007)

IMO, since the Dear Ms. Leading album Casey has gone a little too operactic and theatrical with his music. Thats why TREOS was good for him, it tempeered his penchant for grandiose music with the other members more rock oriented approach.

P.S. For the guy asking for the Shellac review, Excellent Italian Greyhound is very, VERY good.

AphasiacIIC (June 22, 2007)

"where is my Pissed Jeans review???....that's gotta be the best record of the past 5 years easily."

its so fucking boring

danperrone (June 22, 2007)

this group SUUUUUUUUCKS

how can anyone sit and listen to this try-too-hard bullshit?

BrandonSideleau (June 22, 2007)

where is my Pissed Jeans review???....that's gotta be the best record of the past 5 years easily.

folk-punkJohnny (June 22, 2007)

deerhunter is way better
where's the shellac review?

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