Top Ten Songs by Dashboard Confessional

Hailing from Boca Raton, Florida comes Dashboard Confessional. Known for their deeply emotional music, their uniquely acoustic sound and the cult-like following of fans they lead, Dashboard has grown and evolved from a one man show to a full sound, four piece rock band. In addition to their loyal fans, they’ve also picked up an MTV Video Music Award, and of their five major album releases three have hit gold, according to the RIAA. As the featured band in MTV’s Unplugged 2.0, they went beyond gold records to earn platinum.

Hands Down (Acoustic)
Album: So Impossible
The album So Impossible is a short, four track selection of songs that tell the story of a guy admiring a girl from afar, and then finally having his chance to get the girl. Chris Carrabbas often describes this song as being about the ‘best date of his life’. From its nervously giddy introduction to it’s joyfully exuberant finish, ‘Hands Down’ takes listeners along for the emotional roller coaster of the date that goes completely, unexpectedly well.

The Sharp Hint of New Tears
Album: Swiss Army Romance
In the song that gave birth to the name Dashboard Confessional, listeners are pulled into an experience we’ve all had – taking the long way home because we’re upset. In what may be the defining song of the Emo genre, listeners are treated to a deceptively simple melody that resonates deeply.

Remember to Breathe
Album: So Impossible
In the short 3:48 of this song, Chris perfectly encapsulates a moment so universal yet so completely indescribable – the horrible nervousness that precedes a date. Standing on the brink, to hopeful lover can be overwhelmed by the thought of failure. At this point, the first date with one long loved, there is the element of success but also the rising panic at the realization that within a few short hours, it may end forever. Remember to Breathe tells us of the paralyzing decisions made before a date – What to wear? What to do? What to say? – and reminds us all of what it’s like to be in the early and uncertain stages of love.

Don’t Wait
Album: Dusk and Summer
Though stylistically different from the old formula of purely songs consisting of only Chris and his guitar, Don’t Wait still has at its heart exactly what makes Dashboard’s music so compelling. Full of brilliant hooks, a delightfully intricate layering of instrumentation, all punctuated with Chris Carrabba’s powerfully emotive voice, it’s little wonder that this track was chosen to lead off for the newest album.

Dusk & Summer
Album: Dusk and Summer
The title track from their newest album, Dusk & Summer is a return to the austere acoustic beginnings of the band. The simplicity of it stands also as a sharp departure in style from the rest of the album, which features heavier instrumentals, more distortion and a generally stronger rock n’ roll flavor than even past outings by the group. Given that the album is so different than the earlier projects before the band, it’s a nice way to show the fans that Chris hasn’t forgotten what it’s all about.

Screaming Infidelities
Album: Places
Many Dashboard Confessional fans were brought to the band through this song, which earned the group an MTV Video Music Award. A quietly painful song, Screaming Infidelities is a prime example of what makes Dashboard great. The lyrics, though blatantly honest in their pain, also manage to be surprisingly witty, turning phrases like, “As for now I’m gonna hear the saddest songs, and sit alone and wonder, how you’re making out, but as for me I wish that I was anywhere, with anyone making out.”

So Long, So Long
Album: Dusk and Summer
Featuring the latest instrumental addition to Dashboard (the piano), So Long, So Long may remind listeners of another fan favorite group, Ben Folds Five. While it takes the group in a new direction, it also reminds the listener of what makes this band great – great music.

Turpentine Chaser
Album: Swiss Army Romance
At heart, Carrabba is a poet, a lyricist of the choicest variety. In the song Turpentine Chaser the story of a painful breakup is wrapped in the seemingly mundane act of removing paint from the walls. In a graceful way rarely seen in popular music, Chris plays with several metaphors, giving life to his lyrics and penetrating the heart.

This Bitter Pill
Album: Places
Emotional anguish has long been a staple of music, even more so with the rise of Emo – an off shoot of the punk/pop movement that drives for a deeply emotional response from the listener. In this song, Dashboard moves beyond its repertoire of the glum and gloomy and goes deeper; producing a song of such gut twisting pain that one is almost hesitant to listen to it more than once. With its intensely woeful finish as Chris screams that his despair is ‘never wearing out’, the listener, too, is wearing out, filled with a despair all their own. As the song ends, the listener is suddenly left alone, forced to face their own emotional wounds, robbed of the crutch the music provides.

The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most
Album: Places
In the title track to their 2001 album, the band delves into the mind of anyone who has gone through life pretending to be what they’re not and growing to find that they’ve become something they’ve never wanted to be. “You can’t fake it hard enough,” becomes a cutting admonition to every person who tries to put on a happy face to hide their troubles. It’s the intensely sincere Dashboard song at it’s best.

With their newest release Dusk and Summer, Dashboard looks to stick around for a long, long time. They’ve recently toured with U2, and are currently touring with newer group Say Anything. You can find out more at www.dashboardconfessional.com.

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