Dashboard Confessional
MTV Unplugged



by Stem/Long Stem USER (9 Reviews)
March 14th, 2006 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Bear in mind, I write this review from the perspective of somebody who lives in the UK. As such, I don't live in a country where Dashboard Confessional are even famous. Of the people that do know about them, a large portion will refer to them as 'that band from the Spiderman soundtrack'.

With that in mind, this album fascinates me. The songs are uniformly good, but not great. Highlights - "Hands Down", "The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most", "Screaming Infidelities", "The Best Deceptions" - are just about discernable, but only just. The instrumentation is simple, but gets the job done. There are occasional flashes of lyrical genius, but there's just as many couplets that make me cringe. All in all, Dashboard Confessional can be simply summed up as 'just another band'.

But the fans! Jesus. Never in my life have I seen such single-minded devotion and worship. They know every word to every song, sing along all the time, and cheer at all the right points (and a lot of the wrong points, too). Chris actually gives up on singing at certain points on the album, simply because he realises he can't actually hear himself. Even the yelp of joy that greets his announcement that 'So, this is Unplugged' verges on mass hysteria. Their mass singalong means that these songs are transformed from typical wounded singer-songwriter material into - without being too pretentious about it - hymns. It lends the album a real intimacy, and ups the emotional resonance tenfold. It's also a little grating, and it gets annoying over the course of the whole album.

And that's all before you see the DVD. Yikes. To be fair, the DVD is much better, though. Somehow, the sense of togetherness and harmony or whatever else new age nonsense that the CD is so clearly trying to communicate comes across much better with visuals, and it seems a little less annoying. Maybe because you can actually see all the mildly attractive college girls screaming at him.

So, if you're one of those mildly attractive, hysterical college girls, this is, needless to say, essential. If you're not, you might consider it worth a look anyway, if only for a sense of mild amusement.

Then again, maybe we shouldn't complain about the fans. After all, without their contribution, 'Dashboard Confessional Unplugged' would be a little redundant, wouldn't it"

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Comments:Add a Comment 
March 14th 2006


Funny review, I agree for the most part...and yes...Dashboard was only Chris Carrabba before, and it was all unplugged. Now that he has a band, its not so good anymore. He plays in open D tuning, so the songs sound a lot more complicated than they really are.

March 14th 2006


Very nice review. After reading this I can safely say that I had no intention of picking this up and will continue to stay that way.

March 15th 2006


Nice review, you're like that Iai fellow, but younger and edgier.

March 15th 2006


The amount of fan worship this gets is absolutely insane...and extremely irritating. I could never listen to this stuff regularly and idolize it like that, but Hands Down is a good song. It's kinda sweet. Makes for a nice interlude between some Napalm Death and some Cryptopsy.

March 15th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

You don't explain about the actual songs at all.. You focus too much on the band's image and fanbase...

March 15th 2006


Loner has a point there.

Still a good read :thumb:

Zesty Mordant
March 15th 2006


You don't explain about the actual songs at all.. You focus too much on the band's image and fanbase...

True, but the major focus of this album is arguably not the songs but the fans.
I like Dashboard in doses, but I always find this album a little creepy in that way that everyone so enthusiastically sings along without missing a beat once. It makes you wonder if Dashboard Confessional is really just a cult.
good review. very concise.

March 15th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

I would really, really prefer this album if it didn't have the fans. It serves as a good "greatest hits "live compilation of his best songs in terms of the tracklisting, but I can't listen to it the whole way through.

Good review as per the usual.

April 11th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Thats what Chris is famous for. Having the fans sing loud at his live shows. This cd really gives you a good feeling of what being at a Dasbhboard concert is like.

April 11th 2006


Funny, this cd didn't give me the feeling of being beaten to death by three trillion trend-following teenage girls who all want to have Chris' babies while swooning over how 'emotional' and 'sweet' he is.
They're bound to be dissapointed anyway, Chris is already engaged to Conor Oberst.
I hope they're happy together.

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