Dashboard Confessional – So Impossible EP

Dashboard Confessional
So Impossible EP

On the first Dashboard Confessional release featuring former Sunny Day Real Estate guitarist and sometimes songwriter Dan Hoerner, and while it’s not drastically different from Dashboard Confessional singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Carrabba’s previous work under that moniker, it does show some development in the band.
Fans will be pleased to know, however, that none of what makes Dashboard Confessional so good – the acoustic guitar, the simple hooks, the emphatic vocal delivery, the impassioned lyrics – has changed. If anything, they continue to evolve. Never one to mince words or lose meaning in subtext, Carrabba appears less appalled with his life and relationship situation on this release, instead singing with a bit more optimism in his voice.
The first track here, “For You to Notice…” feels a bit more … well, confessional than Carrabba’s previous work. Quieter, more subtle, the song has a very sweet flow to it. Even when Carrabba’s voice picks up to its trademark emphasis, it still has a kind of gentle melody that’s often lacking in traditional Dashboard songs. This may be the first example of where Hoerner’s influence trickles in. Less obvious on “So Impossible,” this track is still somewhat softer and more sweet than some of Carrabba’s other work. His singing voice is much smoother here, and it works so well, as Carrabba sings, “Do you like dreaming of things so impossible? Or only the practical, or even the wild?”
I get the sense that “Remember to Breathe” and “Hands Down” are more akin to Dashboard Confessional’s last album, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most. His voice often soars on “Remember to Breathe” but gets louder, more emphatic, as he sings, “Remember to breathe, and everything will be okay. All right?” The song is a bit odd, singing about getting ready, getting dressed for a date, allowing you to read your own subtext into the words. And on “Hands Down” you get the more emphatic, angst-ridden song you’ve been waiting for: “My hopes are so high, that your kiss might kill me. So won’t you kill me? So I die happy. My heart is yours, to fill or burst, or break or bury, or wear as jewelry. Whichever you prefer.” This is classic Dashboard Confessional: emotional, more intense, and quite powerful in both lyrics and delivery.
Again, Carrabba writes lyrics that everyone can relate to – and, better yet, sing along to. It only takes a few listens to new Dashboard Confessional music before you’re singing along, feeling every bit as strongly about these lyrics as Carrabba did when he wrote them. That’s what makes Dashboard Confessional so charming: he provides his listeners with a sense of ownership that’s often missing in music. Add to that his strong and emotional voice and acoustic guitar work that’s only improved with Hoerner’s addition, and you get another example of some wonderful songs.