The Shade Of Poison Trees - Dashboard Confessional
The Shade Of Poison Trees Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: Chris Carrabba returns to acoustic rock on the band's fifth album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. He's abandoned the approach [strummy sing-alongs] long enough to realize its every nuance, and such prowess turns a plaintive ballad like 'The Widow's Peak' into something more timeless than a mere emo lament.
  2. These are full-band songs, with prominent piano, and it sounds more like guys playing in a room than the careful construct of a recording studio. That's a good thing.
  3. A self-conscious return to Dashboard’s acoustic-troubadour roots. The good news is that the mellower sounds don’t come with mellower sentiments.
  4. Even at their most tragic and at their angriest, most of the tracks on the album are calls to empathy in unexpected scenarios, feeling pain as a means of catharsis and in turn acknowledging the pain in others after turning inward. The results are amazingly beautiful.
  5. 60
    The result is more than nostalgia: Carrabba imbues all 12 tracks with welcome new tricks--layers of cascading harmonies, a startling falsetto and even a dash of subtlety.
  6. Songs like 'Little Bombs' and the title track are evocative of his "So Impossible" EP while also showing a definite maturity without relying on the disappointing FM-friendly electric rock that's marred the band's work in last few years.
  7. The sugary 'Fever Dreams' and 'Little Bombs' sound threadbare, while glib homilies would shame the writers of Hallmark cards. [Dec 2007, p.115]

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. SamS.
    Oct 18, 2007
    Chris Carrabba rocks any type of album he releases. At first I missed the screaming and intensity of his other albums, but this is probably the best acoustic album ever released. Expand
  2. JakeB.
    Oct 15, 2007
    While Chirs returns to the acoustic sound that made him legendary in my mind, he fails to make a beautifully cohesive album. I compare it to "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar" in the sense that it doesn't flow. His first two albums were one incredible piece of music. That being said, its still Dashboard Confessional and its still incredible. Songs like "The Widow's Peak" "Thick As Thieves" "Where There's Gold" and "Clean Breaks" are perfect additions to his song book, they are the best on the my opinion. Expand
  3. KaiT.
    Oct 9, 2007
    A bunch of ho-hum acoustic song lumped together into an album, the album feels like a filler EP before their next "serious" project is released. definately not essential, even for dashboard fans. Expand
  4. MikeB.
    Jun 26, 2008
    While "Shade of Poison Trees" does give a good glimpse back into what made Dashboard one of the most beloved bands for the younger generation, this new album hardly mongers up the emotion that once drove Carraba's songs to "emo" greatness. Songs like "Fever Dreams" and "The Rush" give off some poppy sound that reflect nothing that Dashboard has put off before. Is this a sign of maturity or a sign of another identity crisis that Carabba seems to go through with every new album. The album does have its brightspots. "Where There's Gold" is one of the best lead tracks on any Dashboard album while "These Bones" give a nice reflection back to the mood setting of Dashboard's "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar" album. "Little Bombs" finally shows the emotion that Carraba is loved for while "Matters of Blood and Connections" is the truest reflection of the earliest and most beloved Dashboard albums. To sum this album up, it's a mediocre identity crisis with a mess of old and new sounds with the old sounds mongering up the best songs on the album. Overall, Dashboard (or Carraba for that matter) need to find one identity that works, and forget about coveted radio-play and focus on the most important thing...the true beauty of good music Expand
  5. JamesO.
    Oct 10, 2007
    5 at first listen...grows on ya!
  6. NicholasS
    Nov 7, 2007
    I lost faith in Carrabba a while ago (not long before the Spiderman soundtrack). The lyrics are somewhere out of 2000, just some of the worst lyrics he has every written. He is trying to be sappy, but totally lost his touch. The music isn't very good either. The songs just aren't catchy, you don't want to hum along. You'll find yourself skipping through tracks trying to find a decent song. Very disappointing. Expand