132. Alter the Ending – Dashboard Confessional
ALTER THE ENDING (2009)
Though originally considered a “side project” for Further Seems Forever front man Chris Carrabba, the band actually released its first EP before FSF actually released their debut with Carrabba. Carrabba only stayed for the FSF debut (something FSF seemed to deal with constantly) and put his efforts into Dashboard Confessional.
DC would initially be known as an emo band, but with Alter the Ending a more pop sensible rock band emerged. Some bemoaned the transition, but the more pop tune fan in me appreciates the new direction. The new direction allows the songwriter in Carrabba to develop as the message, melody and depth of the song would not be hidden behind the emo dramatics. Simply put, what was always there (the ability to write a great melody) became the focal point on ATE.
The first track, Get Me Right, may contain some of the obviously evangelical content of anything since the FSF debut (and the handful of hard to find independent worship projects) from Carrabba. The allusions to the “old man” and the struggle with sin is a common theme expressed here in a great melody and monster hook…shhh, he even says “Jesus” in the lyric.
The single, Belle of the Boulevard, made great strides for the band on radio and should help with future releases. Until Morning actually sounds like something the Goo Goo Dolls could release while the piano driven “Everybody Learns From Disaster” just sticks with the listener.
The only version of the album worth owning is the deluxe double CD where every song is repeated in an acoustic arrangement. Several songs are actually better on the second disc and show Carrabba to be a maturing and smart songwriter. Many may complain about the direction change and start adding the label “sell out” to the band. Others wisely see a growing and maturing songwriter expanding his musical base and relying more on the song than on the theatrics associated with a genre.