The Dear Hunter

Migrant

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For most bands, a concept album is usually a departure, offering the artist a chance to really explore one idea to its fullest in a controlled ecosystem. For Casey Crescenzo, though, this kind of experimentation has become a matter of course. During his time recording as the Dear Hunter, Crescenzo has put out a string of high concept albums, releasing the first three installments of a six-part cycle as well as a series of EPs based solely on conceptualizing different colors as music. With Migrant, the songwriter takes the project in a new direction by doing what pretty much every other band does with pretty much every album, simply writing and recording a collection of songs without any thematic constraints. Not surprisingly, this lack of any initial direction gives the album an open and free feeling that can be felt as soon as Migrant's opener, "Bring You Down," builds up to full speed, opening up from a quiet introduction into a bittersweet celebration. While there are plenty of more plaintive moments to be had, this open feeling continues to show itself again and again on tracks like "Whisper" and "Let Go," giving the impression that maybe Crescenzo is enjoying himself during his break from the Act cycle. Through his past work with the Dear Hunter, Crescenzo has already proven time and again that he's got a clever streak in him, but what makes Migrant interesting is that it's finally giving him the opportunity to simply cut loose and write whatever songs come to mind, and though fans might miss the conceptual hooks of his past work, the album is solid enough to stand all on its own.

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