Sound — 9
If color has a sound what type of music would be composed? The Dear Hunter's latest musical venture takes this concept to heart and has composed 9 individual EP's to deliver a convincing interpretation. Detached from the "Act" albums, which had been previously released, "The Color Spectrum" proves the bands' overall flexibility in composing while still retaining their signature style. The work overall begins and ends with the extreme colors of the spectrum (black to white). "Black": The "Black" EP is definitely the most hardcore rock section with showing similarities to bands like Nine Inch Nails and TREOS. There's a heavy use of ambient electronics with powerful vocals and guitars to fill in the blanks. (Notable songs: "Filth And Squalor" & "This Body"). "Red": The "Red" EP is closely similar to The "Black" EP but seems a little more stripped down rock. I can almost make out reminiscence of Foo Fighters with strong guitar and vocals with the drums in the back keeping it on pace (Notable Songs: "A Curse Of Cynicism" & "Deny It All"). "Orange": The next EP keeps the guitar work in tact but switches to a more alternative rock aspect. A noticeable aspect of these 4 songs are the soloing work, which is probably the best of the entire album. I'm still not quite sure what to pinpoint the similarities of the sound but somewhat like Offspring... Maybe. Either way this section is undeniably alive (Notable songs: "Stuck On A Wire Out On A Fence" & "But There's Wolves?"). "Yellow": This is where we start to get to see the flexibility of the band from here on out. The "Yellow" EP has a sense of folk and pop all mixed together. It is definitely a refreshing point in the album away from the rock aspect. Not to mention that the songs are ridiculously catchy. They pretty much drag you in until your feet are stomping to the beat. (Notable Songs: "She's Always Singing" & "Misplaced Devotion"). "Green": The "Green" EP is the most folk/acoustic section of the album. There is a natural sense to the music here, which is obviously not a coincidence. The music is stripped down with some portions only being acoustic guitar and vocals. I'll admit I listened to this EP less than the others but in no way does that make it less of a section of brilliant work. It should not be seen as a low point in the album but rather exactly what it's intending to do. It's minimalist in songwriting, which in some instances is more powerful than over-mixed music. "Blue": The "Blue" EP is definitely composed of work that you might want to listen to by a lake or beach. It's a very tranquil and soothing. I can't help but think of surf rock at times because it definitely is present here. It's just a laid back portion of the album that is great to hear before diving into the ambience of the next EP (Notable Songs: "Trapdoor" & "Tripping In Triplets"). "Indigo": "Indigo" brings a large sense of the ambient/experiment genre to the table. They use space as a large aspect to these songs. There's also the only instrumental to appear in the entire album. The songs "Progress" and "Therma" are also connected seamlessly to make up for half of the EP. I almost get reminded of something that Pink Floyd may have done with "Therma" considering the spacey/ambient style that's enforced (Notable songs: "Progress" & "What Time Taught Us"). "Violet": This EP is where The Dear Hunter come into their own. The songs very much resemble their work in the "Act" albums almost exactly in terms of writing style. If you enjoy anything the band has done in the past then this EP is for you (Notable songs: It's all good press play and enjoy). "White": The "White" EP is similar to the "Blue" Album in terms of easy listening. It's a pleasing collection of songs that nicely wrap up the entire album by adding a sense of closure. Kind of like the ending of a feel-good movie or something. Definitely check out this EP in its' entirety as well (Notable songs: All of them).
Lyrics — 8
It's hard not to try to pinpoint some form of conceptual story being told here. Casey Crescenzo is known for his storytelling intertwined with his songwriting. If the Act albums try to convey a narrative about a character's life, then these albums may try to convey the concept of life in it's entirety. This is only my interpretation but there may be some truth behind. It's clear that his lyrics are promoting the various feelings and emotions that we all share. From the dark and powerful feelings to cynicism to tranquility to ultimate enlightenment. The lyrics seem to convey the way that Casey sees the world around him is more so what I'm getting at. Overall his lyrics are skillfully crafted and thought provoking. A perfect ingredient to compliment a masterful display of songwriting. I've always been a fan of their lyrics in the past so this comes as no surprise that these lyrics are just as satisfying.
Overall Impression — 9
It's a shame that Casey Crescenzo hasn't been noticed by more people because he deserves much more respect than given. "The Color Spectrum" truly is a project that has enough material to connect with a wide variety of music lovers. No songs seem out of place, which is quite impressive considering that there is 2+ hours of music here. Each EP has it's own unique sound but is connected together with strong musicianship and effective mastering. It's just a very easy piece of music to listen to and I really wouldn't recommend one EP over the other. I would also have to recommend against the short album version because there are so many gems of song in the 9 EPs none should be missed.