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Alter the Ending (Deluxe Version)

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iTunes Review

Alter the Ending finds emo king Chris Carrabba raising the bar on his band’s sixth studio album. Where 2007’s Shade of Former Trees resonated with beautifully stark moments and exquisite desolation, this album reflects more of the light found at the end of the tunnel. “Get Me Right” opens with a stripped-down verse as a lone guitar accompanies Carrabba’s shaky vocals while the chorus unfolds dynamically with upbeat rhythms, winding guitars and layered singing that all ascend into hopeful tones. Proggy keyboards help “Until Morning” begin like a Rush number before the song quickly morphs into a triumphant, feel-good hit waiting to happen. The anthemic “Belle of the Boulevard” plays so sanguinely that you have to wonder who exactly is the muse changing Carrabba’s life and music? Fans of the band’s 2002 Unplugged performance are in for quite a treat as the Deluxe Edition boasts 13 extra songs – acoustic takes of the tunes that comprise Alter the Ending plus bonus track “Truth of the Matter,” a woeful serenade with low rumbling rhythms, lilting piano and subtle swells of guitar feedback.

Customer Reviews

Double versions? Great idea

This album is a nice double-sided offering for "original" fans of the band's classic acoustic sound (though there's much more piano than on the older albums), as well as those who like the full-band dynamics they've introduced in more recent albums. This is because it's the first album that Dashboard did what I've been thinking was the obvious idea since A Mark, A Mission – all-acoustic versions. Of every song.

It works really well. Each song has its place in the album, and it's well balanced. Having the acoustic versions is like having a complete extra album, even if it's not quite as balanced as the main disc.

Like I said, there's much more piano, but I think it's done well, and not overwhelming or suffocating.

Strongest (full) tracks, in my opinion, are Belle, Everyone Learns, and Water & Bridges. Belle also shines on the acoustic side, as does No News.

A different DC over the years.

I’ve been an avid Dashboard Confessional fan, ever since October 9, 2000 when I saw Chris open up for local hardcore band in Charlotte, NC, in Joe’s Garage for $2. The thing I’ve always loved about his music is that you can sing along to the lyrics and really relate to the words of the songs. I find with Alter the Ending, it’s a little more difficult to do that. Dashboard has always been good driving music, good rainy day music, and always a place to let nostalgia run free. Chris has always been a poet, crafting words in ways that cut your heart deep, but I must say I feel less of that on this album. Chris’s music has always told stories, of Love, loss, and life, and I feel like there is a lot of structure brought to these songs, that kind of takes away from those raw, intimate moments that we were able to have with the music. I’m finding some more clichés in the lyrics and it seems like some of the lyrics weren’t written by the Chris Carrabba, we’ve all come to know. But Chris’s life has changed since he first wrote the Swiss Army Romance, so it’s almost inevitable that his music wouldn’t change with him. I love the fact that there’s the acoustic side of the album, to go along with the full band version. It truly caters to all Dashboard fans. So Alter the Ending, is a definite must have for a Dashboard Confessional Fan, definitely a different animal from all of their previous albums, but that’s what keeps it interesting right?

Dashboard lost it after "The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most.

I like Chris Carabba. The stuff he did with Further Seems Forever and Dashboard, but his music has lost it's grace and emotion. The beauty of Carabba is that he built songs that everyone felt and wanted to be a part of. You could hear the music machine starting to eat him up on : A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar. His songs might sound less over produced before they go in the studio but now they all sound the same. The guitar tones are identical in every song and it's way too polished. I am all for a good production but this is a little to clean. This is not me hating on Dashboard I just wish we could see the Dashboard from yesterday rather than today.


Formed: 1999 in Boca Raton, FL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Christopher Carrabba became the poster boy for a new generation of emo fans in the early 2000s, having left behind his former band (the post-hardcore Christian outfit Further Seems Forever) to concentrate on vulnerable, introspective solo musings. Armed with an acoustic guitar and soul-baring song lyrics, he christened his new project Dashboard Confessional -- named after a lyric in "The Sharp Hint of New Tears" -- and began releasing material in 2000. By 2001's The Place You Have...
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