Have a listen to Dashboard Confessional's "Thick As Thieves."
Chris Carrabba is far more than a one-trick pony, as he proves on this emotion-laden—but not pure emo—return to action.
Far more stripped-down than last year's Dusk and Summer, the new disc focuses almost exclusively on Carrabba’s expressive voice and increasingly intricate fretwork—the latter of which is showcased vividly on the dramatic “Thick as Thieves,” on which he wields his J-45. The singer does tend to push the envelope in terms of intensity, bringing a tinge of bitterness to “Matters of Blood and Urgency” and “Little Bombs,” but in contrast to the band’s earliest work, he also displays a good sense of when to give the listener the chance to catch his or her breath.
That’s exactly what he does on “Clean Breaks,” which leavens his strumming with a crisp, incisive piano line, as well as on “Keep Watch for the Mines,” which pushes forward on a chord progression that’s all but impossible to shake outta the memory bank. He may claim they produce poison, but on this disc, Chris Carrabba has planted a row of trees that bear some of Dashboard’s most delectable fruits yet.