Dashboard Confessional
The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most


4.0
excellent

Review

by SubtleDagger USER (35 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


Dashboard Confessional is, for the most part, one man: Christopher Ender Carraba. I say this because he writes the lyrics, sings, and usually plays acoustic by himself for the studio versions of his songs. This record (his second LP) was a departure for DC... in many of these songs, there is an entire band: a bass guitar, a second acoustic and drums. Thus, DC is no longer one man on this record, it's now a band (sans distortion, of course). For the record, Mike Marsh plays drums, Dan Bonebrake plays bass, while Chris plays the secondary guitar parts. Additional backing female vocals by Jolie Lindholm should also be mentioned, as they are an integral part of the title track.

Since this record came out (or more appropriately, after its single "Screaming Infidelities" made it big), I found that there occured a simultaneous backlash and fan following for DC. My brother, in particular, could not fathom Chris's music. I find that with most people who dislike this music ("emo" as some call it, though I shudder at the implications of the term) dislike it because at the heart of it all, this is Chris baring his emotions to the world. They may be immature emotions, and they may be sad a lot of the time, but the fact is that Chris Carraba has a lot of balls to be able to produce and perform any of these songs. They're emotionally raw. Chris's vocals are heartfelt and belted out as if they need to come out, and he often plays his guitar as not only a guitar but a percussion instrument; he strums about as hard as he can at some points just to create rhythm for the songs. Many people dislike the whole thing. I think it's genuine and exactly what music should be. Song-by-song:

1. The Brilliant Dance - A taste of things to come. Regardless of his oft-called sophomoric lyrics, he can pull out some great lines about situational irony, especially here. The song is revealing and actually quite beautiful. 5/5

2. Screaming Infidelities - You've probably heard this one before. What gets me about this song is the structure and rhythm... it has a very nice off-kilter feel to it until he gets to the bridge, which balances the whole thing. The lyrics are definitely not my favorites, but it's a well-arranged song with great guitar melodies and structure. 4.5/5

3. The Best Deceptions - This one has soft, quiet verses that are quite beautiful, and then breaks into Chris pounding his acoustic for choruses as he belts out his vocals. It's a bit repetitive, but the ending makes up for it. There are also very good backing vocals from whoever does them (I would guess Bonebrake). 4.5/5

4. This Ruined Puzzle - A fantastic song, and probably the best one I've seen written by Chris, lyrically. This one is real soft, but it has some great chords that I couldn't have ever used in a song, and a great ending as well. 5/5

5. Saints And Sailors - This as their second single, if you heard it. I personally tend to dislike it because I think the lyrical quality isn't quite as good as it should be, though I love the interlude. 3.5/5

6. The Good Fight - This song grows on you. It's one of the faster ones, with drums and bass. After a while, I really started to like this one because I was still getting used to Chris having a backing band. A nice ending here as well. 4.5/5

7. Standard Lines - I can't fault this one for the cool intro, but it can be repetitive. It does have amazing acoustic melodies throughout the entire thing, though, and that's the big thing I like about it. 4/5

8. Again I Go Unnoticed - This song is the coolest and fastest backing band song on here. The drums and bass do a great job, and this one pretty much feels like a rocker, even with the acoutsic and the emotional vocals. The interlude is fantastic, and proves that Chris can structure songs very well. A bit simple, but great for it. 5/5

9. The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most - The best song here. It has amazing guitar work (one guitar creating a wall of sound), and beautiful female backing vocals. Chris does some extremely emotional singing during the end (which sets the stage for the next song), but I tend to like that. 5/5

10. This Bitter Pill - Well, this one is odd. This is by far the most emotional song here, and as such is quite offputting and inaccessable. At points, Chris is pretty much crying out in a dissonant, painful voice. I must admit I couldn't stand this song when I first got the record, but I actually kind of like it now... for some reason, I find it comforting. Steer clear if you can't handle it, though. 3.5/5

Overall, Chris does a great job of getting his emotions across, which I find refreshing in a musical world of unfeeling and boring music. This is a band that many people either love or hate, so it's really up to personal preference. I'd give it a low 4/5.



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other reviews of this album
The Sludge (5)
If God recorded an acoustic album, it would sound something like this....

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His words are not sugarcoated, but laced with bitter honesty....

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It may be a bit cheesy, but it’s not an album that you will fear listen to....



Comments:Add a Comment 
el doctor
April 1st 2004


83 Comments


I really loved this album. A fews years later now, my devotion has worn off a little, but still I say it's a great album. For the most part, I don't find the album "whiny". It's definitely the most depressing and relaxed of all the albums. Good review. I'm not sure if I'd give it a 4/5 (rating albums only out of 5 is tough :p) but I still say it's a great album. It gets monotonous after a long time but the majority of the songs are very good, in my opinion.

Badmoon
April 1st 2004


384 Comments


Good review :thumb:, I really haven't heard anything form this band other than the REM covers they did on MTV, I liked that.

Guitar Symphony
April 3rd 2004


11 Comments


I am BUYING this album.

SubtleDagger
April 3rd 2004


737 Comments


Good. Hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and el doctor, I gave it a very low 4/5. If we were on a 10 scale, it would probably be a low 8.

Scott Herren
April 3rd 2004


192 Comments


Sorry, but I almost can't differentiate the different songs on the album. They are all pretty boring. Screaming Infidelities was played out for me the second time I heard it. Again I Go Unnoticed is pretty good, but not good enough to save the album. Plus my sister listens to it and Evanesence on a steady rotation, so I have gotten sick of it. 2/5.

SubtleDagger
April 3rd 2004


737 Comments


Yeah, the all-acoustic Carraba sound isn't for some people. I suppose it does start to sound the same after a while. Like I said, it's for some people and not for others.

pixiesfanyo
April 3rd 2004


1223 Comments


Subtle you have an extremely large musical taste..and i really respect you alot more now..

nice review

hybridofsound
April 3rd 2004


131 Comments


That was a really good review. I agree with nearly all your track by track ratings but actually find This Bitter Pill to be one of the albums best tracks.

SubtleDagger
April 5th 2004


737 Comments


Thanks to both of you. I also love "This Bitter Pill", but I know it's a very questionable song, and I often have to be in the mood for it, so I gave it a lower rating. I don't listen to it as much as the others when I get the chance.

CommieCanada
April 7th 2004


68 Comments


[QUOTE=hybridofsound]That was a really good review. I agree with nearly all your track by track ratings but actually find This Bitter Pill to be one of the albums best tracks.[/QUOTE]
i agree

somedude13
May 13th 2004


7 Comments


[QUOTE=Scott Herren]Sorry, but I almost can't differentiate the different songs on the album. They are all pretty boring. Screaming Infidelities was played out for me the second time I heard it. Again I Go Unnoticed is pretty good, but not good enough to save the album. Plus my sister listens to it and Evanesence on a steady rotation, so I have gotten sick of it. 2/5.[/QUOTE]

dude, this cd has most of Dashboards best stuff on it, its at least a 4

DeathOnBroadway
May 14th 2004


21 Comments


I do agree that the songs can become annoying or boring, but you have to be in the right mood for it. For a lot of people, I guess they just haven't had the certain moods that the songs carry. I don't listen to everyday, or even every week, in fact, sometimes a month goes by before I listen to some. But I wouldn't own nearly everying Dashboard Confessional cd if they didn't have a significant impact in certain times. My favorite song is "Again I Go Unnoticed" (the old version), but I like the newer one too, because it has a more mellow/sorrow-ish feel to it, than the louder original...actually, they both work, heh. I listen to the old one when I'm slightly more angry, and the newer one when I'm on the brink of tears. If there's one important lesson you learn from this cd, it's that it's ok for guys to cry, heh. And yes, Chris has a lot of courage, he started out doing one man preformances outside the venue, as other shows were going, playing for the people waiting. Pretty amazing, great cd. 4/5

EMOtionalDC89
July 5th 2004


3 Comments


I have this cd and DC is one of my favorite bands out of all there cds this one is my most listened to i give it a 5/5 no doubt

RollerQueen
July 5th 2004


209 Comments


"Our side-stepping has come to be a brilliant dance where nobody leads at all."

Probably the best line from this album. I think "Standard Lines" is the worst song on the album, though. It never stuck with me and just makes me want to listen to "Turpentine Chaser" instead. You do need to be in a certain mood to listen to this album but it's great to drive down the highway at night, singing along and hating everything.

Tharwolf
July 6th 2004


24 Comments


i started listening to the swiss army romance a long time ago and got this album from my cousin for christmas a little over two years ago, boy did it kick booty. screaming infidelities and again i go unnoticed were both good being redone and with a complete sound but sometimes, depending on my mood, i like the original versions better. this ruined puzzle is amazing especially at the "does he ever get the girl part." subtledagger, you did not mention another important part of the album, the strings like the cello in puzzle is awesome at the end. best deceptions is good, and saints and sailors is good but took some time to grow on me, and the title track is amazing how that one guitar makes that entire wall o' sound...good review

AsleepInChalkOutlines
July 6th 2004


10 Comments


Even if you do not like this band, you must admitt that chris can ****ing write songs and there is no question about that. i personaly have grown to like Dashboard. I used to think that there music was to soft to like, but after buying this album i realized that dashboard is the real deal and thats what made me like them. I love every part of every song on the album. If you do not have this album i suggest you purchase it. If someone like me that likes Atreyu and As I Lay Dying, can like dashboard so can you. great review by the way.

XemoXmoshXpitX
July 6th 2004


1 Comments


i mostly see them on tv....their stuff i have found online was rly repetitive

Theo
July 6th 2004


84 Comments


[QUOTE=AsleepInChalkOutlines]Even if you do not like this band, you must admitt that chris can ****ing write songs and there is no question about that. i personaly have grown to like Dashboard. I used to think that there music was to soft to like, but after buying this album i realized that dashboard is the real deal and thats what made me like them. I love every part of every song on the album. If you do not have this album i suggest you purchase it. If someone like me that likes Atreyu and As I Lay Dying, can like dashboard so can you. great review by the way.[/QUOTE]

Hmm...what if you don't like Atreyu, As I Lay Dying AND DC?
Oh well.

Tharwolf
July 6th 2004


24 Comments


[QUOTE=AsleepInChalkOutlines]Even if you do not like this band, you must admitt that chris can ****ing write songs and there is no question about that. i personaly have grown to like Dashboard. I used to think that there music was to soft to like, but after buying this album i realized that dashboard is the real deal and thats what made me like them. I love every part of every song on the album. If you do not have this album i suggest you purchase it. If someone like me that likes Atreyu and As I Lay Dying, can like dashboard so can you. great review by the way.[/QUOTE]

true, i mean i listen to everything from Story of the Year, Avenged Sevenfold, Thrice, Senses Fail (hardcore), to Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Suicide Machines, Goldfinger, Bosstones (ska), to NFG, Starting Line, Home Grown, Mest, Ataris (pop punk), to TBS, The Early November, Socratic, The Get Up Kids (emo) and even some kinda experimental stuff like hellogoodbye, jenoah, and motion city soundtrack. you don't have to like acoustic or emo to like dashboard. my one friend has three favorite bands, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, METALLICA, and Dashboard Confessional.

Jang31
February 10th 2006


1 Comments


Yeah, what made this band great was Chris Carraba doing his thing and being true to himself. That all changed when he picked up the backing band, overproduction on his tracks and basically made it big by selling out. Go pick up Swiss Army Romance, the MTV Unplugged album(if you must) and the So Impossible EP to see what I mean. Poor little guy lost his girl... the music seems to go downhill once he regained his spirits though. IMHO



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