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Breaking the Nine-Year Drought: Dashboard Confessional’s “Crooked Shadows”

By Nicholas Prescott; For the Clock
On March 4, 2018

Artist hiatuses are tough on fans. Many find themselves repeatedly playing old albums all the way through, while others comb through online music forums, desperately looking for a hint that their beloved artist is finding their way back to relevance. As of late, one fan base has reason to rejoice in the end of such a hiatus: followers of the emo alternative/indie group Dashboard Confessional.

After an extended period of time off, Dashboard Confessional’s new album “Crooked Shadows” (released on February 9) sat at #6 in digital album sales for the week of February 24. Chris Carrabba, the driving force behind the group, delivers on his signature style, but still manages to breathe new life into to his classic emo sound. Coming in late as the sixth out of the nine tracks, the album’s namesake, “Crooked Shadows,” rings true to Dashboard’s sound, while still bringing something new to the table.

While the album mostly sticks to what you might expect from Dashboard Confessional, it does introduce some new, more modern synthy-pop sounds on the track “Belong.” The song features Cash Cash, a New Jersey-based dance music group; an odd coupling for sure, but one that delivers, all the same.

That’s not to say the entire album sounds the same. There’s something for everyone--your typical Dashboard slow dances can be found in “Heart Beat Here” and “Just What to Say” (featuring Chrissy Costanza), which rounds out the album.

“Crooked Shadows” also speaks to itself in the opening track “We Fight” and track eight, “Be Alright.” It’s a minor detail to notice, but is still something that speaks to the artistic whole in an art form that is composed of separate, smaller pieces of art.

If you’re looking to relive your ninth-grade emo years with something fresh and new, “Crooked Shadows” might be something to treat your ears to.

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