#Review: Dashboard Confessional – All The Truth That I Can Tell

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All The Truth That I Can Tell is Dashboard Confessional‘s ninth studio album. It poses as both a reinvention and a rediscovery of what made the band the big emo hitters. Returning to work with James Paul Wisner (The Swiss Army Romance, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most), have Dashboard Confessional reignited the flame that lit so many fans over the past 20 years?

Dashboard Confessional - All The Truth That I Can Tell

It’s not always common for a reviewer to pin their colours to the mast about the band they are reviewing, but for the sake of clarity and sense I will declare that I’ve never been a huge Dashboard Confessional fan. Many of my friends loved them, but I just didn’t get the hype at the time of their breakout years. However, times have changed. I have matured (don’t laugh), or at least my tastes have, and I wanted to give Dashboard Confessional’s ninth studio album a try, to see if I can work out why they are a band that has managed nine studio albums. I’m going into this blind… (or deaf?!) having not really listened before…

All The Truth That I Can Tell is a very complete album that requires your full attention.

Initially I was surprised to find that the whole album is based on acoustic and it is all the better for it. It’s a mixture of acoustic rock like ‘Pain Free In Three Chords’ but mostly straight up ballads like the single ‘Burning Heart’ and the beautifully crafted ‘Young’. Having the whole album as an acoustic affair allows for the lyrics to steal the show and gives the record a very mature feel. Despite this, there are still some wonderful guitar flourishes such as those in the ‘The Better of Me’ to add some colour to the music, alongside the well-crafted lyrics.

Lyrically, the album has a very narrative feel. As someone who is approaching their mid-30s it did speak to me and again I was surprised. It’s touching on the usual stuff you would expect; love, loss and everything in between, but it also pulls on more mature themes such as becoming a parent (‘Me and Mine’) and letting go of the trivial past and appreciating the little things in life (‘Here’s To Moving On’). It shows that Dashboard Confessional are avoiding what many bands from the 2000s have failed to do, and that is keep themselves relevant to their ageing (and sometimes maturing) fans.

Chris Carrabba is writing about what I can only assume is his here and now. This is the aspect of the album I loved the most. I found myself going back to tracks that I wasn’t paying full attention to on the first listen so that I could delve deeper into the narrative. And that’s just it. No clumsy metaphors, just a long stream of thought written out over beautiful acoustic melodies. It’s very descriptive story telling over music that, as I already said, draws you into to listen more intently.

Overall this album should be appreciated as a whole, but there are some standout tracks that are worth their own mention here. Firstly, ‘Everyone Else Is Just Noise’ is a great example of how acoustic tracks can have a great dynamic range even when just a few instruments are utilised. Also, ‘Sunshine State’, a song about regrets and letting go of the past, has a great singalong factor, it’s simple chorus which is now living rent free in my head.

If I could have one small criticism of the album, it is that the stripped-back nature of an acoustic setup feels like it removes some of the emotion from the music. A good example of this is in ‘The Better of Me’, where there is a great build up in the music and some raw vocal emotion pushing through, but it feels a bit flat as it hits it’s climax. I feel that a full band on some of the tracks would really help to hit home, the emotions that Carraba is trying to get across in his vocals. But you can’t have it all and having a full band in other tracks would have the opposite effect of ruining some deeper emotional meaning from the lyrics.

All The Truth That I Can Tell is a very complete album that requires your full attention. It has great attention to detail in both the lyrical content and in it’s musicality. It needs your full attention because it’s trying to tell a story through a straight narrative, rather than setting a tone of emotion. It feels very direct in that sense and if the lyrics speak to you then you will love this album, if they don’t you’ll probably still enjoy some stand-out tracks.

Rating
4


‘All The Truth That I Can Tell’ is out 25/02/22 and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/all-the-truth-that-i-can-tell/1580384081


All The Truth That I Can Tell on Spotify

Coming 25/02/22.

Here’s To Moving On (Official Music Video)

Burning Heart (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Dashboard Confessional’s ninth studio album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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Rob Manhire
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#WildCardWednesday: Charlie Simpson – ‘Blameless’

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Charlie Simpson is most notable for being a part of award-winning boy band Busted as well as being the front-man of post-hardcore band, Fightstar. However, he has also seen great success as a solo artist too, with three albums already under his belt, and a fourth on the way!

‘Blameless’ sees Simpson take on a slightly different sound to anything he’s previously released (solo or in a band). It features Simpson’s trademark raw, powerful and raspy vocal atop a piano-led backing track with a semi urban-style beat to it. It’s something new for the singer-songwriter and leaves me intrigued for what his new album will hold.

The music video was directed, produced and edited by Simpson himself, during lockdown. It sees the singer performing in a variety of settings, most of all in the forest, at different times of day and night with some wonderful lighting effects surrounding him. It’s simplistic but reflects the track’s raw feel perfectly and the editing is pretty cool too.

What are your thoughts of the singer-songwriter’s latest single? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Blameless’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/blameless-single/1547874823


#MellowMonday: Greyson Chance – ‘Holy Feeling’

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Greyson Chance is back with a brand new single, ‘Holy Feeling’.

The singer-songwriter first rose to fame when a video of his performance of Lady Gaga‘s ‘Paparazzi’, at a grade school music festival, went viral on YouTube, gaining him over 68 million views.

Now, with a couple of albums under his belt and a whole string of singles, the artist returns with his mellow yet stunningly powerful offering, in the form of ‘Holy Feeling’.

The song has a certain quality of George Ezra about it during the first verse, when Chance’s gravelly vocal kicks in. However, by the chorus, we are treated to an uplifting and strong voice that is begging to be sung along to with full force.

It has an emotive and optimistic vibe to the song that has me reaching to repeat it, time and again.

The video for the song is pretty simplistic yet stylisticly cool too. It was shot on 16mm film and features people displaying a love and passion for each of their specific creative crafts – from a ballerina and a carpenter to a photographer and a tattoo artist – none of whom are actors. Interestingly, it was shot in the same location as that of his single, ‘shut up’. Check it out below.

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter’s latest single? Do you have a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Holy Feeling’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/holy-feeling-single/1545586122


#MellowMonday: Gabrielle Aplin – ‘When The Lights Go Out’

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Gabrielle Aplin is an English singer-songwriter who amassed a following after uploading a series of acoustic music covers to YouTube, before signing to Parlophone in February 2012.

Her style falls anywhere from folk and indie rock to synthpop, with her latest single, ‘When The Lights Go Out’, being a mellow, synth-driven anthem.

This particular song was written shortly after the release of her latest album, Dear Happy. Aplin says, “I wanted to make a song that felt like a hug that you can also dance to and I’m considering it the song that closes the Dear Happy book.”

It does just that – it manages to be a somewhat upbeat record that you can have a boogie too, whilst also being something mellow, easy listening and like the closing of the Dear Happy chapter in her career. It’s a brilliant amalgamation of happiness and calmness and is mellow enough to be a great #MellowMonday start to the week.

I can’t get enough of this track right now!

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter’s latest single? Do you have a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘When The Lights Go Out’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/when-the-lights-go-out-single/1543733734


#MellowMonday: Jolé – ‘Alpine Green’

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Jolè (aka Joshua Oliver) first arrived on the scene in early 2016 with his breathtaking brand of folk music. It wasn’t unil 2019 that he released his self-titled debut album, Jolé, on which, the singer-songwriter displayed his talents and abilities to use both electric and acoustic folk to tell personal tales, going on to amass over 2 million streams of the record.

Now, the London singer-songwriter is back with the lead single from his forthcoming Silver Lake EP (out 21st August 2020). ‘Alpine Green’ perfectly captures the power of memory, with this poetic folk song about heartache and longing for someone lost.

This is a track that will not only resonate with those who have lost a loved one but also with those who have experienced profound disconnection from family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic. Its composition is beautiful and sound is nostalgic – a true folk masterpiece, perfect for #MellowMonday.

Unfortunately, no music video exists for this track just yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated if one is released – if one were to exist though, I imagine something truly cinematic and beautiful to reflect the imagery of the lyrics. What do you invisage?

What are your thoughts of this singer-songwriter’s latest single? Do you have a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Alpine Green’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/alpine-green-single/1518095638


Jolé · Alpine Green

#MellowMonday: Blakey – ‘Prism Of Love’ featuring JONES


   

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Blakey is a mysterious new artist and producer from London, who’s recently released his stunning debut single, ‘Prism Of Love’, featuring the incredible JONES.

The song has some seriously beautiful vocal melodies, with Blakey showing off a diverse range; from rumbling deep notes to ghostly falsetto vocals as well as a powerful, full voice, with JONES‘ delicate voice, weaving in between.

The production is top-notch too; there are subtle sounds and melodies throughout that make this debut powerful and fragile all at the same time; it’s perfect!

The music video is basic but pretty interesting – well worth a watch!

What are your thoughts of this stunning electronic track? Do you have a #MellowMonday track for recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or talk to us about it via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Prism Of Love’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/prism-of-love-feat-jones-single/1345629694


#MellowMonday: ZAYN – ‘Let Me’


   

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Probably one of the most musically diverse artists to come out of One Direction, Zayn is back with the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ collaboration with Sia with his latest single ‘Let Me’. Undoubtedly, this second single means his sophomore album must be on its way.

The track is beautifully simplistic with its easy-going R&B tempo and electric guitar sample, topped off with Zayn’s powerful falsetto vocals.

It’s a track that shows real maturity and promises an even more diverse set of songs for his second record. Lyrically, it’s about taking care of a partner for the rest of their lives.

The music video was directed by José Padilha and acts as a sequel to the video for ‘Dusk Till Dawn’. Featuring actor Steven Bauer (as a gangster kingpin) and model Sofia Jamora (who plays his girlfriend), Zayn‘s character, Roko tries to escape the kingpin’s henchmen, when it’s discovered that he has slept with the girlfriend, meaning orders on his life are given. It ends on a cliffhanger, suggesting that another video will continue the story where this one left off. It’s fantastic to see a modern artist taking the artistry of a music video seriously, to create something interesting and more complex than a simple performance video…especially across a few videos.

What are your thoughts of Zayn’s latest single? Do you have your own #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Let Me’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/let-me/1370174624?i=1370174633


#MellowMonday: Brunswick – ‘Know No Better’


   

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Brunswick is the moniker of a 19-year-old up-and-comer, who is making some seriously edgy, fusion music. This single, ‘Know No Better’ merges R&B and hip hop with rock and pop to create a unique blend, self-described as “Rhythm & Grunge”. It’s a great sound that is almost like crossing G-Eazy with Conor Maynard and topping it off with some Nirvana; it really is something special.

Very little is known about this artist right now, other than from his Instagram and SoundCloud pages, but a little mystery isn’t always a bad thing.

No music video has been released for the track yet, but as soon as one emerges, we’ll keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of this mysterious artist? Got your own #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Know No Better’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/know-no-better-single/1361721586


#Review: Geowulf – Great Big Blue


   

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Geowulf is a duo comprised of members Star Kendrick and Toma Banjanin, originally from Australia. They started writing music a few years ago and released their first track, ‘Saltwater’, in July 2016, which now features on their debut album, Great Big Blue. Here’s what we had to say about it…

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Self-described as ‘Beach Pop’, this album is exactly that; it’s hypnotic, easy listening music with a brilliant blend of laid-back guitars, floaty vocals, subtle synths, down-tempo beats and all-round melancholic vibes.

This album is Americana through and through and could quite happily be the soundtrack to a lazy afternoon around a Californian pool-side or whilst hitting the open road in a big convertible, wind through your hair, driving down an American highway. It has a strong resemblance to some of Lana Del Rey‘s music too…just with a slightly more light-hearted feel to it.

Great Big Blue is hypnotic, easy listening music with a brilliant blend of laid-back guitars, floaty vocals, subtle synths, down-tempo beats and all-round melancholic vibes

Prior to its release, the album enjoyed several successful singles but some of biggest highlights on the record include; ‘Sunday’, which is a beautifully mellow ballad, setting the tone for what’s to come (plus the opening lyric gives the album its title), ‘Saltwater’, is slightly more up-tempo with a real summery warmth to it, ‘Get You’, has an almost African rhythm, topped off with Star’s long, drawn-out notes, whilst ‘Drink Too Much’ is probably one of the most conventionally pop tracks, with a tongue-in-cheek look at how drinking a little more than you should, whilst on a night out, can land you in trouble when you get home, with the simplistic yet honest lyrics; ‘Coz I get myself in trouble when I drink too much, Think too much, And you’re somehow on my mind when I drink too much, Think too much.‘ At face value, it sounds cheerful and uplifting but when you listen to the lyrics, it’s a real oxymoron to the sound.

On first listen, the songs tend to blur a little into one, however it’s after a few plays through that you can begin to detect the differences between each track and truly admire Star’s euphoric vocals, Banjanin’s stunning melodies and understand the complexity behind the simplistic-sounding, psychedelic production, appreciating just how much time and effort must have gone into producing Great Big Blue. I have to say, whilst I really did enjoy this record, from start to finish, it is not necessarily an album that you will want on repeat for weeks on end; it’s a very good album but will it stand the test of time? Sadly, I’m not convinced.

Rating
3.5


‘Great Big Blue’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/great-big-blue/1316527015


Great Big Blue on Spotify

‘Saltwater’ (Official Video)

‘Don’t Talk About You’ (Official Video)

‘Get You’ (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Geowulf’s debut album! What do you think of it? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or hit us up via our social media to talk about it.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Vance Joy – Nation Of Two


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerVance Joy is an Australian, folk singer-songwriter who, having released his debut solo album, Dream Your Life Away, back in 2014, is now back with his sophomore offering, Nation Of Two; a powerful tale of a couple’s love.

Vance Joy - Nation Of Two.jpg

Vance Joy has crafted his own unique brand of folk-pop, using instruments such as the ukulele and banjo to make his style stand out and Nation Of Two continues with this tradition; this time telling a story throughout the 13-track collection.

Vance himself explains that “Nation of Two describes a perfectly self-contained couple; their world beginning and ending at the bed they share, the car they ride in, or any other place where they’re together… the idea that their love for each other gives them their bearings; a point of reference that makes sense of life.” (Reference)

The album, as a collection, tells the tale of two lovers across a beautiful array of styles.

The album starts out very strong with stand-out songs, including leading single, ‘Lay It On Me’ (with it’s funky brass sections), plus ‘We’re Going Home’ and the fun-filled, ‘Saturday Sun’. Other great songs include the punchy, almost alt-rock-like ‘One Of These Days’ and the beautiful banjo ballad, Where We Start’. The album, as a collection, tells the tale of two lovers across a beautiful array of styles, however a couple of the tracks, I felt, could easily be skipped, but as a whole body, it is great.

This is definitely going to sit well with fans of Mumford & SonsRay LaMontagne, Seth Lakeman and possibly even Ed Sheeran – it’s folky, pop-tinted and got a real honest feel to it. It’s well produced but not over-produced and stands out as a quality, folk-pop album.

The first half of the album is strong and I certainly think this album will bring new success to Vance Joy, but the second half is lacking in a couple of places. This is however, as a whole, a wonderful way to tell the story of a couple’s love and life together and is well worth a listen.

Rating
3.5


‘Nation Of Two’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/nation-of-two/1325861276


Nation Of Two on Spotify

We’re Going Home (Official Video)

Lay It On Me (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our latest review of Vance Joy’s second album, but what are your thoughts? Are you a huge fan or do you think it will go straight in to the bargain bin? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings with us, via our social media accounts.


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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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