Romance discovered at the beach, relationships tinged with bitterness, and sincere proclamations of the heart. Dusk and Summer merely changes the setting of the loversâ€šÃ„Ã´ location, continuing with the sensitivity to which Dashboard Confessional has always been dedicated.Chris Carrabba, along with his song writing skills and vocals, will always be the heart of the group. However, Scott Schoenbeck, John Lefler, and Mike Marsh bring Dashboard Confessional up to full band status, rather than just an angsty young man and his guitar sitting alone on a stool. Less acoustic and veering from the slight whine of earlier albums, Dusk and Summer shifts to a harder sound while retaining softness within the lyrics. Carrabba exudes authority on the pure rock track â€šÃ„ÃºReason to Believe,â€šÃ„Ã¹ urging oneâ€šÃ„Ã´s body to go on when confronted by staggering beauty. Sentimental â€šÃ„ÃºStolenâ€šÃ„Ã¹ provides a break back to first record The Swiss Army Romance, lyrics almost whispered with minimal accompaniment and choruses gradually increasing in intensity until listeners canâ€šÃ„Ã´t help but sing along. Guest vocals from Adam Duritz of The Counting Crows on â€šÃ„ÃºSo Long, So Longâ€šÃ„Ã¹ adds somberness to the leaving home piano ballad. â€šÃ„ÃºSlow Decay,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the bass-heavy black sheep of the album, tells the profound story of a soldier dealing with his demons upon returning from war and may be the darkest lyrics Carrabba has ever penned.
The fourth in a series of albums in which each gradually moves Dashboard further from the singer-songwriter origins, Dusk and Summer proves that not all sensitive bands should be pigeonholed as emo.