Dashboard Confessional

Wednesday, July 19, at the Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas, with Ben Lee and Say Anything. Call 713-230-1600 for more info.

Contrary to popular belief, Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba is one of the ballsiest men in popular music. That statement might seem absurd, considering that...well, he's Chris Carrabba, for chrissake. But during the early part of the decade, when critics and other musicians were busy distancing themselves from emo's fallout, the breathy-voiced singer-songwriter was still proudly letting his angst flag fly. Now, almost three years after the release of his last album, the prince of heartbreak is back with Dusk and Summer, ten songs that clarify exactly how he survived. See, Carrabba is well aware that he's very good at what he does, even if what he does isn't very good. With a slew of midtempo ballads and lyrics such as And if this is ever meant to end / Then I hope it ends where it began / So hot with love / We burned our hands, teenage girls everywhere are swooning for him behind closed bedroom doors. (Meanwhile, every self-respecting male within earshot would just as soon punch him in the face.) Even though the album forgoes the acoustic touches and break-up themes of his early work in favor of jangly, U2-esque guitars ("Heaven Here") and warm, fuzzy odes to romance ("Stolen"), this is a back-to-basics album that's 100 percent Carrabba -- whether you think that's a good thing or not.

 
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