The Dear Hunter ‎– Act I: The Lake South, The River North

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f4nz0

f4nz0

August 8, 2018
referencing Act I: The Lake South, The River North, LP, Album, RE, none

I've struggled with this album a lot, since it is arguably the "rawest" and least melodic one of the Acts. If you like it or not may actually depend on whether you want to view this album as a standalone piece that has no predecessor (apart from some demos), or if you want to put it into the overarching storyline and compare it against the musical finesse of the other acts.

In itself, it is an interesting and engaging piece of music. The storyline (as far as there is an actual "line") is compelling, the characters described instantly draw me into the tale that is about to unfold. There is quite a bit of variety, but ultimately this 38 minute journey fails to deliver a lot of range. The production quality is not as high as on the other acts (in fact, there are entire worlds between Acts I and V!), which makes sense considering that Casey (the "brain" behind TDH) recorded most of the music by himself, without much studio backup. The best way to describe this album would be that it shows promise.

And this promise is being held in the Acts to come. The other Acts bring more story, more range and a lot better production quality. In that sense, it is the weakest of the Acts. But with each new album being released, the first Act gains more and more meaning on the story side. Countless musical and lyrical motifs appear and the payoff is monumental when you consider the amount of "easter-eggs" that have been neatly planted between the innocent lyrics of the first Act. In that sense it once again regains a lot of meaning and power.

Nonetheless it remains the weakest album of The Dear Hunter's Act series. But being the worst out of a set of great works of art is maybe not that bad!
brunkobo

brunkobo

September 13, 2016
referencing Act I: The Lake South, The River North, LP, Album, RE, none
Some surface noise on my new copy, but it's not overpowering. Cheap pressing, not surprising considering the price. Worth the money, but don't expect this to be a case of "sounding much better on vinyl".
ThrowParties0rKnives

ThrowParties0rKnives

September 1, 2013
referencing Act I: The Lake South, The River North, CD, Album, 03069-2

My copy has a misprint on the spine: The Lkae South the River North.