When singer/songwriter Chris Carrabba embarked on his solo project Dashboard Confessional back in 1999, nobody predicted that it would be turn into a indie emo household name and that Carrabba would become a poster boy for a generation of young alternative rock fans in the early 00s.
Nineteen years later, Dashboard Confessional are now seven studio albums deep with their first record in nine years, ‘Crooked Shadows’.
One of the most noticeable things about the band’s new record is its light and breezy feel. Compared to Dashboard‘s early material, ‘Crooked Shadows’ is far more stripped back and lands closer to the pop side of the music spectrum. ‘Belong’ and the albums titular track are charged by colourful synth melodies and simple chanting choruses, and a similarity to Florida pop-rockers We The Kings seeps through in the sound.
‘Heart Beat Here’ and ‘Just What To Say’ act as the album’s ballads, with elegant guitars and smooth mellow vocals which result in two incredibly soothing songs. Against The Current vocalist Chrissy Constanza makes a guest appearance on ‘Just What To Say’, providing some extra harmony that gives the track an emotional lift, whilst album opener ‘We Fight’ and penultimate track ‘Be Alright’ hold a cinematic reverie, feeling like they’d slot perfectly into a coming of age film soundtrack.
While it’s not the most dynamic or memorable album, ‘Crooked Shadows’ is filled with passion as Carrabba excerpts an equal amount of emotion into every minute of every song, making this record a very worthwhile listen.