Casey Crescenzo and the band are back with the fifth album that’s part of their “Acts” theme. “Act IV” was released a year ago and for me, it was the best album that The Dear Hunter had released. While I do love “Act V,” it just doesn’t quite measure up to the previous 2 “acts.”
While I do love that Casey isn’t afraid to write songs that are over the top and even a bit campy, “Act V” seems to go a little too far overboard in that direction. Tracks like “The Most Cursed of Hands/Who am I” and the Sinatra meets Lennon sisters romp “Mr. Usher” are good songs but a little too far off the mark for me.
“Cascade” is one track that walks the line between over the top and excellent pop perfectly. “Gloria” is so damn catchy that it’s in my head, though the obvious rhyming of the title is a bit basic. “The Flame” is another song that combines the best that Casey does all in one song. On the downside, “Light” is a track that no matter how hard I try, I just can’t connect with it, especially the lyrics.
The bottom line is there’s nothing that Casey Crescenzo can’t write. He has proven over the course of the career of the Dear Hunter that he is the premiere prog song writer (not Neal Morse, folks). “Act V” might not be perfect but it’s far from typical or predictable and definitely a worthy next part of this six part series. I can’t wait for “Act VI,” which will be the finale.
2. The Moon / Awake
4. The Most Cursed of Hands / Who Am I
5. The Revival
7. Mr. Usher (on His Way to Town)
8. The Haves Have Naught
11. The Flame (Is Gone)
12. The Fire (Remains)
13. The March
15. A Beginning