Review: Dashboard Confessional – Dusk And Summer

Already Dashboard Confessional’s 5th album, I had to work my way backwards into their discography (their song Vindicated from the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack, to A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar and MTV Unplugged 2.0). With this all, it’s clear they had their genre pegged between tougher acoustic rock songs and sweeping soft-rock almost bordering emo. Some are quite similar (especially in the acoustic unplugged environment), but more than a handful of clear hits are easily filtered, and from the rest even more will grow on you over time. With their Unplugged outing, as the first band without a major hit to be invited, which was a good call on the MTV’s side to say the least, has produced moderate success for Dashboard afterwards.
They must’ve thought it’s time to join powers with a big name producer (Daniel Lanois, with credits for U2 and Bob Dylan albums). Well, that didn’t work out quite well. Gone are the songs with long verses that flow into each other, never needing a chorus to make it shine. While Vindicated stands out as a different Dashboard song, now they’re trying to make a whole series of it. The one word choruses don’t ring well with me, and without the subtlety of earlier songs, there’s no way it will grow on me.
Of course, it’s not all screaching electric guitars with wild stumping on the wah wah pedals, there’s still time for the ballad style songs. Singer Chris Carrabba is still capable of giving it the most emotional twist possible (credits also to guest vocalist Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz on So Long, So Long), still the song doesn’t hit a home-run. To make it worse, while I already marked it “almost emo”, he goes a bit too far, and literally breaks out in a girly scream-ish tantrum (Heaven Here). With so many remarks on just a 10 song album, I can’t say I’m thrilled at all.5.

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