Dashboard Confessional

Shade of Poison Trees

Written by: TL on 23/05/2008 12:38:03

After the release of the overly mainstream \"Dusk And Summer\" back in 2006, I have to admit that I had pretty much written Dashboard Confessional off, and effectively I listened to the follow-up \"The Shade Of Poison Trees\" maybe one or two times when it came out, before happily forgetting all about it. This never went down well with my dear editor though, and after continuous harassment by him, I am now listening to and reviewing it for the sake of our archives\' consistency.

Initially, this is a good thing, because Dashboard have fortunately amped down the guitars again and taken an approach that will seem much more familiar to the fans of \"A Swiss Army Romance\" and \"A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar\". Back are the small acoustic songs and gone is the overload of drama in Chris\' voice that harrowed \"Dusk And Summer\". Effectively he seems like a guy we can relate to again, even if he always did sound a little bit emo.

The good thing about \"The Shade Of Poison Trees\" is that it\'s kept simple. The songs are short and crisp and even half a year after my first and only listen, I still easily remembered the chorus of album-opener \"Where There\'s Gold\" (\".. There\'s a gooooold-digger!\"). Speaking of infectiousness aside, this line also implies the main difference from the classic Dashboard albums. While the style is vastly the same as on \"Swiss Army\", the songs that catch your ear on \"Poison Trees\" are the ones that lyrically are about social themes, rather than internal emotions. Instead of singing along to lovesongs like we\'re used to, our attention is drawn to songs like the aforementioned \"Where There\'s Gold\" as well as \"Matters Of Blood And Connection\".

How ever, as positive a development \"The Shade Of Poison Trees\" is from its predecessor, it still doesn\'t measure up to albums it sounds like. For that there\'s to much filler and too little killer. Chris sings on \"The Rush\"; \"Give me some teeth, give me something unforgetable!\" but aside from the songs I\'ve already mentioned, only one or two others answer to that plea, effectively leaving \"The Shade Of Poison Trees\" a bit short of both earlier Dashboard material, as well other albums in the genre, like for instance those of Death Cab For Cutie and City And Colour.


Download: Where There\'s Gold, Matters Of Blood And Connection, Thick As Thieves
For The Fans Of: Death Cab For Cutie, City And Colour, Keane
Listen: myspace.com/dashboardconfessional

Release Date 01.10.2007
Vagrant Records

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