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Dashboard Confessional - The Shade Of Poison Trees

Dashboard Confessional, The Shade of Poison Trees

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

SINGER-songwriter Chris Carrabba has decided to return to his roots for Dashboard Confessional’s fifth album The Shade of Poison Trees and it’s a worthwhile decision.

Where previous album Dusk & Summer attempted to broaden the sound and deliver some epic anthems, this is content to strip things back to basics and recapture Carrabba’s signature sound.

Hence, anyone who has enjoyed recent efforts from the likes of Josh Pyke may dig the endearing blend of acoustic riffs and longing vocals.

The album was recorded over 10 days in Florida with renowned producer Don Gilmore (Pearl Jam, Linkin Park) and is packed with earnest acoustic laments and poetic lyrics that helped Carrabba first become such an acclaimed artist.

Highlights include the title track itself, which emerges as a stripped down, haunting affair that finds Carrabba at his most reflective and longing.

But Fever Dreams whizzes along thanks to a lively beat, some swirling electronics and an almost falsetto-style vocal; The Rush is a strong listen, effectively laidback and delivered in almost whispered style early on, and I Light My Own Fires Now is a little more fiery and a bit of a statement of intent.

There are some bland efforts that Britain’s own James Blunt may be proud of, such as Matters Of Blood & Connection and These Bones.

But on the whole this is a very accomplished effort that succeeds in recapturing the early spark of Dashboard Confessional’s best material. Check out Clean Breaks, with its intricate guitar layering and haunted style, and Little Bombs, with its political point making, as further evidence of what we mean…

Download picks: Clean Breaks, The Shade of Poison Trees, Fever Dreams, The Rush, I Light My Own Fires Now

Track listing:

  1. Where There’s Gold
  2. Thick As Thieves
  3. Keep Watch For The Mines
  4. These Bones
  5. Fever Dreams
  6. The Shade Of Poison Trees
  7. The Rush
  8. Little Bombs
  9. I Light My Own Fires Now
  10. Matters Of Blood And Connection
  11. Clean Breaks
  12. The Widow’s Peak