Dashboard Confessional - 'Crooked Shadows'

5/10

When emo rockers Dashboard Confessional released a covers EP at the beginning of last year, their first release of any kind for over eight years, the rumour mill quickly got working on the possibility of a new album. And over a year later, we are finally here. Following on from their 2009 album 'Alter The Ending', the band are back with their seventh studio album 'Crooked Shadows', and it seems that they haven't lost that anthemic edge they have always looked to produce.

Opening up with the euphoric lead single 'We Fight', the record quickly sets itself up as a bold and ambitious return. Yet fans of the group will probably remember them more for their more subdued singles and we do get our fair share of those on here too. Tracks like 'About Us' and 'Belong' give a strong juxtaposition of tone to the other larger songs, but sometimes the mix of production makes it hard to really get into this new release.

Despite a strong selection of tracks, the variety of direction doesn't quite gel together as well as it should. The strong opening fails to keep much momentum going forward, and the record quickly falls into safer territory. This certainly seems like a collection of songs aimed at tweaking that sense of nostalgia many will have for the band, but most lack the memorability needed to really engage with us.

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