Even though Dashboard Confessional made the decision to release both an electric and an acoustic version of their latest, 'Alter the Ending,' the band still included a little from column A and a little from column B, dropping in the unplugged stuff now and again, something perhaps old hat for Chris Carrabba and the boys.

Another aspect of 'Alter the Ending' that is old hat for the band is the songs themselves. They are brimming with Carrabba's painfully relatable lyrics, and while they have gotten a tad more optimistic throughout the years, they still manage to tug at the heartstrings. It's the combo of Carrabba's recognizable voice and staunch emotionality that fuel this vehicle, one that gets a lot of mileage out of it. 'Alter the Ending' doesn't run out of gas and steadily delivers from start to finish, something some of the bands more recent releases can't say. While the debate for Carrabba to go to a full band will continue to rage on, there should be no doubts that 'Alter the Ending' is a solid step in the right direction.

Grade: B

Story by Brian Campbell

Starpulse contributing writer