Website: Dashboard Confessional
The Inside Pulse:
With the release of A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, Dashboard Confessional scrapped the acoustic realms of after school auditorium parties to a more enriched, stadium-ready sound with, like, drums and everything. Some say this jump slashed at Dashboard’s original charm; people tended to enjoy Dashboard’s quiet requites of lost love, and adding rock-band sensibilities would make him just another band on the radio, right? Well, A Mark certainly got them on the radio. Dashboard has been MTV’s poster band for the emo revolution that’s swept modern rock over the last four years or so. The thing is, Dashboard Confessional are emo in a way that doesn’t make you want to strangle them. Yes, they dress in American Eagle and look longingly into the California sun whenever the opportunity arises, but they’ve got a sound that’s pretty distinctive and can actually transport you to a different emotional plane if you give them the opportunity. Now, does this record pull it off, or is it just another emo release in a world quickly getting sick of the genre?
It takes more than one listen to realize what’s going on here. Fans of pre-Mark Dashboard will enjoy it a lot more than Mark, because it isn’t just the acoustic songs done with an electric guitar. There’s a melting of the overly descriptive lyrics with the big band feel that’s a lot more natural this time around. The nuances are there. This album is the culmination of their sound. Each song rings a Dashboard-esque message that you can point out immediately. “She’s at the tip of your tongue” “Hand out the window, floating on air”, “The first time you looked at your curves you were hooked”, are all lyrics that echo similar ideas in all Dashboard records – love is about being inches away from your lover.
It takes at least two full listens of the record to get any of the great things hiding within. I really hated this thing the first time I heard it. It sounded like Chris was trying to write “Vindicated” over and over and over, which is Dashboards most famous and by far worst song. As well, the stadium band sound seems a little too pandering to the MTV knuckleheads who think that anything from Hot Topic is gospel.
Bright Eyes with Weezer, as always.
Reason To Buy:
It’s your girlfriends’ birthday in a week. Or you’re going to an emo-burning day and you don’t own any to burn. Or you like tragically good love songs that don’t pretend that they don’t actually care about their lover.