Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Dear Hunter - Act I: The Lake South, the River North (V2)

The Dear Hunter is one of those bands that reminds me how well music can be used as a medium for story-telling.

Act I: The Lake South, the River North is the first of what is planned to be a six part concept album. Only three of these "acts" have been released thus far, with the fourth one under TBA. It's certainly an ambitious goal, with equally ambitious music. This album is eight tracks long, with the most of them being about six minutes in length, often incorporating breaks and intros that often sound very orchestral and rock-opera-esque before going right back to the heavy guitar and drum work. In it's most basic form, the story itself is that of a boy born to a prostitute and his life that follows. Not the most unique of premises, but the music gives it a depth you wouldn't expect. There are plenty different moods and emotions spread across this album expressed through the almost bipolar song construction to keep your mind busy and entertained. At times it feels like you're listening to the soundtrack to a rather bizarre musical.

Now I should come out and say that as with most progressive rock, this isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea. They're part of that "love it or hate it" category. The main reason being the vocals/lyrics, which feel a bit lacking at times, with corny names such as Ms. Terri (bet you couldn't guess the word play there) and some songs being sung a bit more on the whiny side. I myself don't mind it, but I'm well aware that some people can't get past things like that.

So my suggestion is that you give this album a listen, even if you're feeling a bit skeptic after my previous paragraph. You just may be able to enjoy the vocals, or at least tolerate them. And if they just bother you too much I'll gladly take the blame for your wasted time, because I think this album is worth a try at the very least.

Highlights: City Escape, 1878, The Pimp and the Priest

Download here.

Sing softly, bring me to the lake.

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