Dashboard Confessional

Dusk And Summer

Written by: TL on 26/07/2006 17:49:17

After three years, where all we heard from Dashboard Confessional was the single “Vindicated” from the Spiderman 2 OST, the brainchild-band of former Further Seems Forever frontman Chris Carrabba has finally released their fourth full-length (fifth, if you count the MTV Unplugged V2.0), and as could be feared/expected, the fans are in for noteworthy change.

Those of you, who know Dashboard from before, will remember them mostly for their deeply passionate acoustic or semi-acoustic songs. The kind of songs that brought up youthful sentimentality and naivity in you, The kind of songs you’d wish you’d written for your girlfriend. You knew it was a bit cheesy, but it was just so damn believable that it was futile to resist.

On the new effort Dusk And Summer, Dashboard has apparently grown quite a bit, and as with most bands who grow, Dashboards sound has grown along with them. Where the band once sounded like an indie-flavoured, almost folk-like form of emo, they now sound more like more conventional pop-rock. Guitars have been amped’ up, and except for 3 songs the quiet acoustic approach has been abandoned. This leaves us with a load of louder songs where opener and first single “Don’t Wait” sets a perfect example of what’s going on. In fact, if you listen to the whole album in one go, you’re bound to notice how each and every song, save the acoustic “Dusk And Summer”, follows the same highly predictable structure. Starts out slow, then works its way up, and then finally end in a high pitched power chord-backed crescendo.

Now that we’ve established what the 2006 edition of Dashboard Confessional sounds like, it’s time to get down to the passing of judgement. When a band has a change in direction like this, it’s bound to split fans and reviewers in the two famous 'for' and 'against' camps. I for one must admit to being situated in the ‘against’ one. Although the songs on this record are not necessarily the worst thing since copy protection, they are simply too predictable and unoriginal to get me excited. The band has gone from being completely their own, to sounding like a commercially minded, poor copy of… Keane?! Even if you like the new style, just take a listen to classics like “Screaming Infidelities” and “Hands Down” or some of the other old material, and try to tell me, that they aren’t better by far. This is so much less than we should be able to expect from a band who wrote great songs like those. Actually, if you ask me (and you do, since you’re reading my review) this is almost too uninteresting to be considered average.

5

Download: Dusk And Summer, Don’t Wait
For the fans of: Keane, Saves The Day
Listen: Dashboard@MySpace

Release date 27.06.2006
Vagrant Records

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