Dashboard Confessional - A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar

Monday 1st March 2004
Dashboard Confessional - A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar
Dashboard Confessional - A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Vagrant 9810554

Reviewed by Dustin Helgeson


Former frontman for Christian band Further Seems Forever, Chris Carrabba is now an emo-superstar in mainstream music. Utilizing a simple acoustic punk rock setup, Dashboard Confessional have in the last few years risen quickly on the wings of Carrabba’s bleeding-heart-on-sleeve lyrics and high whining voice. Everyone seemed to attach themselves to the pain and agony of his music and message. Musically, Dashboard is hooky emo rock with a heavy dose of emotion, hence the emo label. This has a more plugged in electric sound than previous releases. One of my favorites, other than their first single “Hands Down”, is a quiet acoustic piece “Carry This Picture”. The first verse says: “Carry this picture for luck/Kept in a locket, tucked in your collar, close to your chest/Make it a secret, shown to the closest friends.” The love song goo is spread thick on “Bend And Not Break” with lyrics like, “I’m talented at breathing, especially exhaling/So that my chest will rise and fall with yours.” Carrabba continues to pen the kind of lyrics that let you know exactly how he feels. By the end of the disc, I almost feel like I AM Chris Carrabba! The only thing I don’t like about this otherwise poetic, masterful album is the lack of hope and positive message. We know about the pain, we know about the struggle, we know all about how life feels. Now give us the TRUTH! This is an excellent album though devoid of anything that might resemble “Christian” lyrics, disappointing in view of Chris' background. The closest I found to a redemptive message might be the lyric “Scalpled, sutured, made whole again” from the song “If You Can’t Leave It Be, Might As Well Make It Bleed”. Nonetheless, this record is a testament to love, scars, life and suffering. It is one to digest slowly, thick with the embittered Marmite of Carrabba’s gooey message.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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