Dashboard Confessional - Dusk and Summer (Cover Artwork)

Dashboard Confessional

Dashboard Confessional: Dusk and SummerDusk and Summer (2006)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: colincolin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The words you are reading right now are beginning to the end of any respect I've ever built up from writing any sort of review on this site. I've crapped all over My Chemical Romance. I've trashed Taking Back Sunday. Twice. Straylight Run? No and no. So why does this, the most desperately obvious.
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The words you are reading right now are beginning to the end of any respect I've ever built up from writing any sort of review on this site.

I've crapped all over My Chemical Romance. I've trashed Taking Back Sunday. Twice. Straylight Run? No and no. So why does this, the most desperately obvious record on this list of faux emo pop get the best score? Well, hold those bricks you've painted in anarchy signs for just a minute.

It's not that this album is spectacular, or really amazing, but it's good at not trying too hard. Within the modern emo/pop genre, every record released that gets hyped in any way has a sense of urgency to it; love it now, because this trend is going to die. The sooner, well, the better.

But Chris Carraba is on a different level. He's opened for bands like U2; he did the emo pop thing with Further Seems Forever before they became a staple of teenage girls' record collections. When he started Dashboard Confessional, it was honest. In my eyes, The Swiss Army Romance is the best album Drive-Thru Records has ever released. But then, Dashboard got ridiculously popular, and butchered his own songs with a full band and releasing a worse than bad album in A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar. However, he seems to have put the past aside, and taken a little piece from everything and put them all in Dusk and Summer.

When this record is good, it's really good. It has a polite tip of the hat to the days of Further Seems Forever in songs like "Reason to Believe," while musically growing into the inevitable unanimous pop star that Carraba is almost bound to become, if he can't be classified as such already. The album holds probably some of the most aggressive songs Dashboard has released, notably in "Slow Decay," which is easily the standout on the disc.

I guess I really like this for the simple reason that it is almost a sequel to The Moon Is Down. Almost.

However, while the record is a very enjoyable summer pop disc, it's somewhat uneven. As Carraba is taking from some of the better parts of his musical past, he's also taking from some of the low points as well. A song will build up to a letdown; it almost seems like there's a voice somewhere that is keeping Chris in check from really letting loose. This is the ultimate downfall of the record. Instead of being a cohesive (albiet not to be taken seriously) album, it's got a musical lopsidedness that isn't quite there. However, when all is said and done, this is a vast improvement over the last record.

Unfortunately, the bad news doesn't stop there. The lyrics on the disc are pretty bad, and it seems like Chris just can't pen another song like "New Year's Project" or "Turpentine Chaser." I don't expect any sort of insightful or amazing lyrics from this guy; he's never delivered on that level and shouldn't be held to that standard. What I expect is a good storytelling style and a great voice. Unfortunately, both seem to be restrained, trying to maintain an appeal to a demographic that apparently just never grows up.

At this point, it seems like I have a laundry list of complaints for this disc. And I do...which is why I just don't get why I keep listening to it. I've always liked Carraba's voice, and while it was a little easier to relate to Dashboard when I was in high school, you can't always listen to super serious music (well, maybe you can, but I can't). I guess, when it all boils down to it, I had written off Carraba and the Dashboard project as lost for good after The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most, but he managed to surprise me and pack some nice, catchy hooks in an album that seems to be named for just about the right time to listen to it.

This record isn't going to blow your mind. If you've never liked Chris' projects, you're not going to like this album. There's a good chance even Further Seems Forever fans will be split. There are some tracks ("Heaven Here," "Don't Wait") that are just good to skip over. Buy this album? No. But maybe get your kid sister to burn it for you and give it a spin. You might just be surprised.


People who liked this also liked:
Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3Underoath - Define the Great LineJimmy Eat World - Bleed AmericanAs I Lay Dying - Shadows Are SecurityJimmy Eat World - ClarityBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeAlkaline Trio/Hot Water Music - SplitMy Chemical Romance - The Black ParadeArmor For Sleep - Dream to Make BelieveFrom First To Last - Aesthetic

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
larold (July 14, 2006)

hmm...crap compared to his acoustic days. so long so long or whatever is an alright track though....pretty shitty album overall though

Keith19 (July 3, 2006)

I personally feel that this release is a very good. I mean, it doesn't have the lyrical content as his firstr elease, but the music is a lot more rocking which is a pleasant change. 'Slow Decay' is the ebst song on the album.

Anonymous (July 3, 2006)

from britney spears to emo thats where you go....fucking asshole

Anonymous (July 3, 2006)

someone said something about us growing up on here together or something and 2003....well whatever, but my point is that shit has changed so much since 2002 or 2003 that dashboard now seems so unoffensive by comparison.

just compare the 2002 punk o rama track listing to the 2006 punk o rama (now going as 'unsound vol 1')

let me do it for you

epitaph in 2002
2.hot water music
3.international noise conspiracy
7.bouncing souls
10.death by stereo

you get the point. just 4 years later, heres what their latest comp looks like

1.from first to last
2.escape the fate
3.the matches
4.youth group
5.motion city soundtrack
6.matchbook romanch
8.i am ghost
10.some girls

??? wtf? now i'm not saying I hate all of those bands or anyting, i'm quite fond of MCS and I think the matches have a lot of potential but the move away from punk/skatepunk etc. to emocore or whatever you'd categorize from first to last and escape the fate as is pretty drastic.

so yea, all in all, dashboard is ok. the epitaph roster is much more cringeworthy.

feeeding5000 (July 3, 2006)

You know, sometimes I just wanna kill myself. This is one of those times

GreenVandal (July 2, 2006)

Awww, thanks Kenjamin! I bet I can guess who the one poster is...

Anonymous (July 2, 2006)

small correction, the best record Drive Thru ever released was RxBandits' "Progress."

andrethegiant (July 2, 2006)

the links are genius.

Anonymous (July 2, 2006)

tell me about it!


ps, i love you all, except one "regular" poster

rkl (July 2, 2006)

dont worry, colin. you didnt have any cred to begin with.

good review though, it almost made me want to check out the album until i remembered that i abhorred dashboard 6 years ago(swiss army romance was the only album i bothered with).

GreenVandal (July 2, 2006)

Heh. Kenjamin tries to have a emotional moment in the Dashboard thread, and Wyzo rips him a new one. Punknews hasn't matured at all!

RBD-biatchh (July 1, 2006)

it's ok. the singing is good and the beats are decent.

Anonymous (July 1, 2006)

I never thought Wyzo was a dick before.


Anonymous (July 1, 2006)

i've only heard two songs, the single, and the second track. the single is awful, but the second track is really good.

EyesLikeBOmbs (July 1, 2006)

To sum the review up:

"This album is not so good, but I do have a huge man crush on Chris Carabba! 3 stars!"

Anonymous (July 1, 2006)

"taking back sunday and MCR are better than dashboard condessional, but this album isnt bad is really good, and guys who call "emo" to this bands, suck , only because "emo" doesnt sound like your Britney Spears shit or Backstreet boys shit, fuck you people who named emo, because TBS, MCR, DC, Fall out boy are great bands!"

to the guy who wrote that - your comment doesn't make sense grammatically and is, quite frankly, wrong. who listens to britney spears or backstreet boys nowadays anyway?

Anonymous (July 1, 2006)

"kenjamin" (is that like the male "yessica"?), if punknews is a nostalgic ground for growing up, you got screwed on your childhood. Go back in the womb, go back, try again, its not working out.

The Iranians find out we listen to this, the incentives package is definately OFF.


Anonymous (July 1, 2006)

It's kinda weird to think that all of us posters kinda grew up and matured together. If this was 2003, we'd all be trashing the hell out of this!


Christiano (July 1, 2006)

good review

dazed (July 1, 2006)

I'd buy this if it was called Sharkbait

inagreendase (July 1, 2006)

I have a weird relationship with this band. When I first heard their concept / album a good 5 years ago, I kind of went "What the fuck??" at someone describing something as "acoustic emo" to me.

Then the band blows up and releases that single, and it was ingrained in my brain so much I picked up the album and enjoyed it for a while.

Another year or 2 later it did nothing for me and I sold it to a classmate at college.

Since that point I just really couldn't care less, but from all the positive talk of this, if a promo copy happens to fall in my lap I'll give it a shot.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

taking back sunday and MCR are better than dashboard condessional, but this album isnt bad is really good, and guys who call "emo" to this bands, suck , only because "emo" doesnt sound like your Britney Spears shit or Backstreet boys shit, fuck you people who named emo, because TBS, MCR, DC, Fall out boy are great bands!

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

Dashboard really came off looking good in the "Nothing Feels Good" book about emo. Probably the most convincing argument that I've heard for Dashboard is that while the writers over at the Rolling Stone are falling all over themselves to praise Bright Eyes as The New Dylan, Dashboard is connecting with kids who could give two shits about all that. This generation doesn't want another Dylan, but RS desperately NEEDS a new Dylan to validate their existance. Anyway, don't know much about his music but he seems like a decent genuine guy and the kids love him so I can respect that.

Side note: I'm running Firefox 1.0 on a Mac and ever since punknews switched to the new format I get "A problem occured" message every time I try to post. Can someone look into this please? I hate being anonymous.


colin (June 30, 2006)

you review alot of shitty music. i think that you actually enjoy it. now there's nothing wrong with that, you like what you like, but you always give them a low score i assume so that everyone on here won't leave nasty messages. i can't trust your reviews.

i review a lot of music period. i've reviewed plenty of albums htat haven't even been put up due to the fact a staff member reviewed them instead. and chances are the shitty music i reviewed i at one point enjoyed.

and, to be honest, you've got a pretty weak point. if i were to review the first taking back sunday cd, i'd give it a 9, and probably get plenty of harsh comments. read my reviews for those shitty albums and see how many trashy comments i get.

i try everything out, and i review some of it. but thanks for not trusting the desire to be objective, the fact that i try to follow the basic rules of journalism, and go straight to my choices on what to review in order to form a bias.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

you review alot of shitty music. i think that you actually enjoy it. now there's nothing wrong with that, you like what you like, but you always give them a low score i assume so that everyone on here won't leave nasty messages. i can't trust your reviews.

Allular (June 30, 2006)

I'll probably get this so I can get the new Moneen cd as well.

I'm slowly realizing how rediculous of a marketing ploy that is. It's genious.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

I just listened to reactionary and how to ruin everything at the pool last weekend. both records are very good and were very undrrated. i think they both stand on par with big choice or dont turn away...if anything, i think they're better. but the s/t is sitll my fav.


Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

Dusk and summer- the acoustic song owns.

SalsaShark (June 30, 2006)

My favorite part about this review is how almost everyone (with a name, anyway) in the comments section admits to liking Dashboard at some point or another, so I think you'll be spared, Colin.

Also, I have no opinion of this record (or DC really, all I remember is "Hands Down"), but on the mention of Face To Face, I saw a movie last night (Tank Girl) which had a F2F song in it and it was kick-ass hearing them, even in the background.

kirbypuckett (June 30, 2006)

"Vindicated" from the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack was a killer song.

Anyone see the trailer for Spider-Man 3? I CANNOT WAIT!

- Kirby

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

This album half sucks, but not as much as it sucks to listen to Chris talk about the "writing process". I'm an old school fucker but I still can't stand how bands talk about video projects, marketing, promos and all this other bullshit like they are re-inventing the wheel. You might be bringing some joy or happiness to some people, but you are really just something to put on in the car or to go see on a night at the cool club.
That fat deadlocks asshat from the Counting Crows sings (ruins) the one song that was on the website from the website. The single and Chris moaning is like a very bad rip off of Jimmy Eat Wolrd's "Sweetness". Rooftops and Invitations and the harmonic guitar single notes is catchy, you know lyrics are in trouble when they talk about "saving your soul".
The token semi-acoustic song (it must be in his contract that he put one on the record for the "old fans"), is decent, the one of the Vagrant Comp was much better and had less wispy vocals.
"Heaven Here" sucks donkey dong.

colin (June 30, 2006)

10. this is way better than a mark a mission a haircut a dildo

that made me lol.

and scott, i agree. i mean, i've always liked dashboard, and i saw him pretty early on and was just blown away. i really didn't like when he went full band style, but whatever.

i much rather would have a scene full of bands concentrating less on their "i stuck my finger in an electical socket" haircuts and more on their ability to sing. whether or not you like this album, or any carraba recrod, this dude has one of the best voices around today. that was my biggest problem with this album... something about the production doesn't ring true for his vocals at times.

either way, great release date, i'm not sure how much i'll listen to it after summer, but for the next few months i can see this rotating in my playlist pretty heavily.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

1. Kirby, I think Vagrant got Carraba locked into a multi-album deal, either that or he's just comfortable with the exposure/marketing/whatever Vagrant gives him. Look what happened to Saves they day when they jumped ship, they got on a lable that gave 2 shits about them and didnt market in reverie at all. they would have been better off staying on vagrant all along. its a pretty big indy.

2. I love how you need disclaimers on this website when reviewing anything thats not in the avail/lawrence arms/paint it black realm becaus eyou know people are going to trash you

3.good review

4.I feel ike i'm ripping off superdude, but i just started numbering my thoughts, sorry

5. i agree withe the line about how 'i have many complaints yet keep listening to it..i'm the same way. I think several of the songs sound identicle, some of its cheesy and so radio/mtv friendly its rediculous...but for some reason i've probably listened to it around 10 times already...i mean thats more than I listened to bigwig-reclamation, suck me sideways. some of the songs are great, the lyrics are pretty good...and maybe it just is the time of year...this record is a nice, lighthearted summer record.

6.guys having trouble getting laid, take note. girls love this shit. my girlfriend made me burn her this after one listen and she previously claimed she didnt like dashboard cuz its 'too whiney and hes a little bitch'

7.thats the other thing...i respect carraba for not making sad bastard emo singalongs anymore. this album is predominantly optimistic and full of love songs. suck me sideways twice!

8.i love concise records...more bands need to make the 10 song 35 minute no filler record. not that this doesnt have filler.

9. this is 100 times less offensive as hawthorne or underoath or whatever screaming and whining with chugga chugga breakdowns or mascara and tight jeans and white belts bullshit. i'm w/ scott and whats his butt, this really isnt that offensive or emo at all. its just pop rock. and he looks more skate punk/surfer guy than anything. he doesnt have that douche haircut anymore thank god. hes just some 30 year old guy who isnt afraid to make some pussified pop rock while he sits on his front porch of his beachhouse and nails some broad 100 times hotter than any broad you'll ever nail.

10. this is way better than a mark a mission a haircut a dildo

11. finally, admit it, half the reason most people hate him is out of jealousy...hes a good looking guy with a great voice, strong songwriting talents and appeals to many a beautiful girl. suck me again!


Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

his tattoos are so hot

maverick (June 30, 2006)

"Honestly, I'm gonna let Carababababalabamba slide, mainly because at least he's not some god damn image with girly hair and tight jeans."

Exactly. It's funny how everyone gave this guy so much shit three years ago for being "emo," and now we'd probably kill to have this style of music be the norm for scene bands. At least I would.

This record's good, too. Better and more concise than the last one.


sickboi (June 30, 2006)

Honestly, I'm gonna let Carababababalabamba slide, mainly because at least he's not some god damn image with girly hair and tight jeans.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

also, kind of interesting really that no one has trashed this yet. maybe its just that the kids aren't up yet because they aren't in school. i'm sure there will be plenty of "this ain't punx!!1!" crap in a little bit. kind of refreshing to not see it on a review like this though. also to baseball a couple down, i'm sure that the marketing might be handled by interscope, i know they did the marketing for the last record as well as the last couple of alkaline records

colin (June 30, 2006)

i'd also like to add that this album doesn't necessarily get better as time goes on, but the thing has more hooks than a fishing boat. songs like "stolen" are so cheesy but so catchy i just can't stop listening to them.

this is going on my "guilty pleasures" rack for sure. and now that vagrant is doing the whole get any cd for free, i'll be damn sure to pick this one up.

welcome_to_1984 (June 30, 2006)

Buy a Face to Face album. I just busted Ignorance is Bliss out of mothballs and damn I miss those guys. I saw Pete Parada at Warped and got excited for a second till I remembered he drums for Saves the Day.

skolarx (June 30, 2006)

the single is great, the rest of the album is lacking though. one song flows into the next without any real sense of a break

kirbypuckett (June 30, 2006)

the question now is should i grab it for $7 and get a Face to Face or Rocket From the Crypt album, or just download it

Let's assume you buy F2F or RFTC on the website, you're looking at $10-12 shipping.

You can buy the Dashboard record for $7 at Best Buy and get one of those for free. You're looking at a $5 profit. Now if you HATE the Dashboard record you can trade it in, probably get around 4 bucks and then find a used copy of a different F2F or RFTC album.

I say that's a good deal.

- Kirby

baseball (June 30, 2006)

i didn't realize this band wasn't on a major....not that it makes any difference

i liked Swiss Army Romance like so many others

and i too am also curious after reading the review...the question now is should i grab it for $7 and get a Face to Face or Rocket From the Crypt album, or just download it

kirbypuckett (June 30, 2006)


I actually had no interest in hearing this album, but the review has made me a bit curious. I may check this out. I won't lie, I was a fan up until the So Impossible ep, but I hardly listen to anything in his discography these days. Based on a solid review by Colin I will check this out.

How come Chris never made the big jump to being 100% on a major? It almost seems logical that something like that would have occured.

- Kirby

mr_ian (June 30, 2006)

Fantastic review. I kinda like this album but there's far too many tracks I skip over to give it any more than half marks. The song withe the dude from Counting Crows on it isnt as bad as I thought it'd be.

danperrone (June 30, 2006)

more like james blunt confessional

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

I remember seeing dc back when they opened for face to face back in 98 at the 930 club, they were fine, not good, not bad... Just kind of there, im sure this is fine -oldpunker-

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

i would like to mention that this is the most cohesive, well-written review this site has posted in months. nice work. record's not bad either.

Josiah (June 30, 2006)

it really is a good summer album, but i don't see myself listening to it past these summer months...

this album is going to be huge that's for damn sure.

almostpunkenough (June 30, 2006)

ok, well, i'm actually gonna attempt to listen to this now based on this review.

if i like it, i'm gonna kick you in the shins.

kingofsuck (June 30, 2006)

The "teenage girls" link is genius. Somehow I've managed to not hear any of this album yet. Maybe I will check it out if you gave it three stars. Maybe.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

OMG DASHBOARD!!omg omg omg omg omg, i LOVE DASHBOARD!!!!omg omg omg

/14 year old girl who thinks shes punk rock

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)


iconoclast (June 30, 2006)

"places you have come to fear the most" holds a special place in my heart. it has something to do with being in high school at the time it came out. his newer stuff is pretty terrible.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

hmmm...boring...I´d rather listen to Rilo Kiley

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

uhg. This stuff seriously makes me want to vomit.

Anonymous (June 30, 2006)

I hate to admit it but The Swiss Army Romance was one good record.

As for DC's latest one, haven't heard it. If I find a promo to it lying around, I'll probably give it a listen.


swingline (June 30, 2006)

you didn't need words for this. just show a shirtless dude with his chest waxed and we would have instantly known that this album is gay but not to an extreme.

Dante3000 (June 30, 2006)

I like the link for "teenage girls".
I can never get behind this band. Perhaps it has to do with my ex-girlfriend liking them. I don't know.

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