When talking about Blink 182’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, I mentioned being in a band. It was at this band’s practice I first heard of Dashboard Confessional. At the time they were more a source of mockery in the mentioning of them. We were 15-16 years old, we wanted to rock... not listen to acoustic music.
A day or two later I saw the video for Screaming Infidelities and it didn’t really grab me as anything amazing or important. It was a little catchy but I didn’t find anything else about it to be impressive.
About a year later though they performed on the new MTV Unplugged. Again this turned into a joke at school. “Why is an acoustic artist doing an acoustic set? That’s not unplugged, that’s just a regular show”. Since I wasn’t a fan of the band anyway I didn’t watch. It was a few weeks later I could MTV playing his performance of The Best Deceptions and suddenly I got it.
Hearing the songs with an audience singing along really changed my opinion of the band. It wasn’t about how catchy the lyrics were, it was about what the lyrics said. Chris Carraba’s heart-ache and hopeless romanticism was what made people connect with.
That’s when I finally bought the CD and started to understand why people loved this group. The Best Deceptions and Screaming Infidelities scream of a broken man, someone who has lost all trust towards not just his significant other, but women in general. Meanwhile songs like Saints & Sailors and Standard Lines reflect on the nostalgic aspects of missing someone.
It is easily one of the top 5 greatest break up albums ever written. Dashboard has had a good career and a nice following. While I’ve enjoyed all their albums; they don’t get better than the early stuff of Swiss Army Romance, MTV Unplugged and Places You Have Come To Fear the Most.