Connor’s Coffee Shop: The Dear Hunter Music Review

Welcome, welcome faithful readers to my humble music review. Today we will be doing something a little bit different. To really explain what this article will be, I have to introduce the album first. So, without further ado, today’s album will be:

The Color Spectrum – The Dear Hunter

The Color Spectrum – The Dear Hunter

June 14th, 2011, Prog-Rock artist The Dear Hunter released 2 albums. Although technically they were the same album, one of them was called “The Color Spectrum”, and the other was “The Color Spectrum: The Complete Collection”. The major difference between these 2 was that the Complete Collection had all 36 songs on it, while the standard edition only consisted of a selected 11. We will be focusing on the complete collection today, however if 36 songs are intimidating, the standard edition is a great pick of certain songs from each color.

So why are there 36 songs on an album? This is because the album is technically 9 EPs (an EP, or Extended Play, is basically a shorter album which commonly consists of 3-5 songs) combined into 1. Each EP contains 4 songs, and each EP correlates to a different color on the color spectrum. These colors are: Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and White. Each EP is a different genre, with Red being more aggressive, and Blue being more calm.

This album, specifically the lyrics, doesn’t follow a specific lyrical concept. However, one could say that the concept of this album is creating songs based off of a color. The act of relating colors to music is also similar to Synesthesia, which is a phenomenon in which a person can relate certain senses to others, such as music to colors.  Frontman Casey Crescenzo remarks on how synesthesia relates to this album:

“…I do have a very visual response to sound. But I don’t really know what it would mean to have it for sure. I have talked to fans that definitely do. It’s pretty cool because some of them will say, ‘Oh I heard this song and you totally missed the mark,’ and then I will talk to others that have it and they will say ‘Oh you perfectly represented the way I see music.’ I think that’s just for one it shows the subjectivity of inspiration.”

Now onto how I will review this album. I will review each EP separately, as if they were their own album, albeit in a much simpler way of reviewing just the Lyrics, Instrumentals, and Vocals. So expect a long review today.



Genre: Alternative Rock

The first EP, Black, takes on a really aggressive path. All of the songs on here are quite angry and carry a loud electronic sound and spiteful lyrics. Even the song names are angry, with names such as “Filth and Squalor” and “Never Forgive, Never Forget.” This is certainly a louder EP, and can be difficult to listen to sometimes, but if you are a fan of bands like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, then this EP is for you. Lyrically, the songs are about despair and darkness and are usually very metaphorical.

Vocals: 6/10

The vocals can be harsh at times, but all in all they are very good.

Instrumentals: 8/10

The instrumentals of this album, white quite loud and muddy, are very impressive and artistic. It also seems to have a hint of Math Rock (Math Rock is a subgenre of rock which is usually depicted by its complex rhythms and time signatures).

Lyrics: 4/10

I think that the lyrics is really what makes this EP my least favorite. They are not bad in any specific way (although “This Body” has some of the weakest lyrics I have heard from Crescenzo) but they could certainly be better.



Genre: Grunge

The second color, while still very aggressive, is a bit softer and more melodic. Red is the first EP to feature another artist on it. If you have read my previous reviews, then you would recognize him. The Red EP features Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra (or in the case of my past music reviews, Bad Books). The lyrics are very blunt and take on multiple different topics that are difficult to talk about, so some of these lyrics can be more sad than angry.

Vocals: 8/10

Hull brings a very great accompaniment to this EP. The vocals are incredibly catchy.

Instrumentals: 7/10

The instrumentals are very loud and fast and they bring a great energy to this EP. The songs can also double as workout montage songs.

Lyrics: 8/10

This EP is definitely better, lyrically, than the Black EP. I think that, especially with some of the themes on this album, these songs can relate to a certain group of people in a way that some songs cannot, and I really admire the lyrical choices made.



Genre: Classic Rock/Hard Rock

Orange is where this album starts to become less rock and more melodic. It is very riff heavy, with less experimental instruments. It is less rock than the past two, although it still holds its classic rock sound with the solos (especially the solo on the song “Echo”). Lyrically, it is a lot about a failing relationship, and it is very descriptive too. Crescenzo uses metaphors that aren’t too difficult to see past. There are some beautiful harmonies on this album, and it’s beginning to show its prog-rock roots.

Vocals: 9/10

Casey Crescenzo is an incredible singer, and occasionally he will do this half singing/half screaming thing with his voice, which is incredible and gives a really unique sound to his voice. The (very niche) community of The Dear Hunter has dubbed this a “Crescenzo” (instead of a crescendo).

Instrumentals: 7/10

The instrumentals on this album remind me a lot of 80’s blues, with some definite blues inspiration in the bass track.

Lyrics: 9/10

The Dear Hunter has some very descriptive lyrics that not a lot of bands have, and I think that Orange is a very good example of this. One of the best examples of their descriptive writing style is the line from “But There’s Wolves?”

Wide smiles bearing teeth, Can’t fake what’s underneath, Cause I don’t wanna waste any time

This is used to describe the image of a hungry wolf as a metaphor for the desire of straightforwardness with someone.



Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Yellow is the first non-rock color so far. It starts off strong with the beautiful riff from “She’s Always Singing”, a song about falling in love with a singer. Although love songs are not what Crescenzo normally releases, Yellow shows how he can create a beautiful love song despite it not being his forte. This EP is surely inspired from the psychedelic era of The Beatles, with some interesting instrument choices such as a Sitar, a Toy Piano, and a Glockenspiel. This is the second color to feature a band, now featuring the band Naive Thieves, with their lead singer Cameron Thorne singing on most of the songs. Lyrically, as I mentioned before, Yellow focuses on love and yearning for it. It has an incredible sound and is completely different than the previous colors.

Vocals: 7/10

I think that Cameron Thorne had a really great part on this EP, however I felt that it kinda blended into the background and was difficult to hear.

Instrumentals: 9/10

The instrumentals are beautiful, very experimental, but beautiful nonetheless.

Lyrics: 7/10

The lyrics on this album are unique to this EP, with most of the lyrics on this album not being very happy.



Genre: Folk

Green is the quietest color, with most of the songs consisting of quieter instruments. Lyrically, this album is on the sadder side, but it seems to focus more on the anger of being sad. The first line of Green, on the song “Things That Hide Away,” is one of the saddest lyrics on the entire album:

“Waking up I felt that hesitation, Like I wasn’t meant to wake up at all”

The last song on Green, “The Inheritance,” is one of the most emotional songs I’ve heard in a while. It follows the story of a single father who watches his children grow up, and instead of feeling upset about the leaving of his children, he feels as if a burden is lifted. Emotional stuff.

Green features Jesse Ribordy of Falling Up playing mandolin.

Vocals: 8/10

Casey Crescenzo’s use of falsetto on these songs is incredible, and a good falsetto is a hard thing to master.

Instrumentals: 9/10

The instruments, while often bare, are incredible in their own way. It is, as I said before, the softest color on this album.

Lyrics: 7/10

I think green has some of the most memorable lyrics on this album, and I think that there are some very deep metaphors used on it.



Genre: Indie Rock

Blue is one of the best EPs off of this album. It is, without a doubt, the saddest color on it. Blue starts off with the incredibly depressing song “Tripping In Triplets,” which brings back Cameron Thorne of Naive Thieves to give a bluesy verse at the end. The second song “Trapdoor,” which was featured on the standard edition, is a beautifully depressing song about addiction with an amazing build-up and release. The lyrics on Blue are haunting. You can tell that Crescenzo put his heart and soul into this EP.

Vocals: 9/10

I think that specifically in “Trapdoor'” at the loud part near the end, Blue really shows how great Crescenzo’s voice can be, and the sheer strength in his voice brings an invigorating sound to it. Not to mention that Thorne’s bluesy singing at the end of “Tripping In Triplets” lends a beautiful sound to this EP.

Instrumentals: 8/10

The heavy hitting instruments on this EP give a goosebump-inducing experience that never seems to go away, at least for me.

Lyrics: 10/10

I have to say, Blue has probably some of the best lyrics I have ever heard. They are so incredibly emotional, occasionally blunt, and certainly beautiful.



Genre: Electronic Rock

Indigo has quite the unique sound. There are a lot of electronic instruments on it, like electronic drums, synths, etc. And I think that it has almost the same “Math Rock” sound as Black. Indigo starts off with “What Time Taught Us,” which has a really beautiful melody, followed by Mandala which has an almost 80’s disco sound to it. The lyrics on these songs are complex and fast. This is a very experimental EP and really shows the sheer musical diversity this album has.

Vocals: 4/10

I think that this EP really suffers from its vocals. They aren’t specifically bad in any way, but I feel that the vocals on this EP can be very forgettable, especially considering that one song is completely instrumental.

Instrumentals: 7/10

The music is not a typical sound that I would listen to, but it certainly has its charm. It’s very ambient at times, but occasionally it begins to get very fast. Overall, not my favorite EP, but still a good one nevertheless.

Lyrics: 6/10

As I said about the vocals, the lyrics can be very forgettable at times. None of them have really stuck with me in any way like the other lyrics on other colors had.



Genre: Art Rock

Violet is a very difficult EP to talk rate. It follows a very specific type of genre called “Art Rock,” which usually contains things like violins, horns, and woodwinds, along with the normal guitar, bass, and drums. It is a very niche genre, and not a lot of people like it, but it is a fantastic genre in my opinion. Violet really captures a “Baroque” sound, with a lot of violins and an occasional harpsichord. I think that, out of all the colors, Violet is the most like the rest of The Dear Hunter’s discography. Lyrically, Violet is incredible. With songs like “Lillian,” about two 1940s Hollywood stars forced to be in a relationship by the media, and songs like “Look Away,” which uses double entendres to give a different meaning to the song every chorus.

Vocals: 10/10

There are some incredible vocals on this EP. The beautiful singing, harmonization, and falsettos mixed with the beautiful lyrics make it an incredible EP.

Instrumentals: 10/10

The instrumentals on this EP are nothing short of incredible. There are beautiful guitar tracks, crashing drums, fantastic violins, and powerful horns.

Lyrics: 9/10

There are a plethora of beautiful lyrics on this EP that really stick with me, even after finishing this EP. The lyrics are very theatrical, and all around fantastic.



Genre: Progressive Rock

White is an incredibly sentimental EP. Out of all the EPs, this one has the most emotion, and not just sadness either. The lyrics contain all different meanings such as, grief, yearning, religion, acceptance, and hope. White starts off with the song “Home,” which is a beautiful song. Possibly the most beautiful off of the entire album. It is an incredible start, followed by “Fall and Flee,” an incredible song about the acceptance of mortality. The album then follows with the gloomy song “No God”, a song about being religiously confused, finally ending with the final blow of “Lost But Not All Gone,” a song (that I could perceive as being) about leaving a past life while looking for a new one.

Vocals: 8/10

The vocals on this EP are so very beautiful. Especially on the song “Home.” According to my friend, who had attended a show in which that song was played, there was not a dry eye in the crowd. Crescenzo has such a diverse range of vocals.

Instrumentals: 7/10

I think that the instrumentals on this EP really make it so this EP competes to be my favorite. It is such a hauntingly gorgeous EP, and the violins along with the piano on some of the songs are so emotional.

Lyrics: 10/10

The lyrics are, and I say this as an understatement, incredibly emotional. If you really look into the lyrics, and specifically at how utterly complex Crescenzo’s lyrics are, then you can see why I feel this way about this album, and more specifically this EP.


Final Note

Thank you so very much for reading this, if you made it this far. This is one of my favorite albums, and my favorite band so it may have been a little biased, but I hope that you are able to enjoy it as much as I have. Anyways, here is the embedded link for my favorite song off of this entire album.


By the way, you can request albums for me to review. If you have an album for me to review, just leave the name of it in the comments and I will write a review.


Editor’s note: Review updated on Jan. 5, 2024 to add more context to the given quote