A departure from the Act I-VI album cycle that the band has been working on, The Color Spectrum finds the Dear Hunter moving in a different and even more conceptual direction, writing songs influenced by the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum. While the project spans nine EPs consisting of 36 total tracks, this album collects just 11 of the songs, giving listeners a small taste of the massive project. Casey Crescenzo and company do an admirable job of sticking to the concept, especially given the abstract nature of the project, delivering a collection of songs that actually feel as if they represent the colors associated with them. The album opens with “Filth and Squalor (Black),” which, as one would expect, is a dark and moody track that acts as a nice contrast to the sunny and upbeat bounce of “She’s Always Singing (Yellow).” The album holds up conceptually all the way to the end as it closes with two tracks from the white EP, “Home (White)” and “Fall and Flee (White),” which both have a gentle, almost reassuring benevolence to them as they build into uplifting crescendos. Despite being from different albums, the songs all work together remarkably well, giving the album the kind of natural flow that one expects from an album, never giving away the fact that the songs are all from different EPs. This kind of unity showcases the Dear Hunter’s ability to really mine a concept for all it’s worth, exploring an idea and discovering everything that it might have to offer before moving on to the next thing, and while it’s only about a third of the total work, The Color Spectrum allows listeners the chance to stand at the edge of the water and dip their toes in before wading neck-deep into the strange world Crescenzo has created for himself.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney
feat: Manchester Orchestra