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Monday March 19, 2001

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Dashboard Confessional

Headline Photo

By Adam Pugh

The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most

(Vagrant Records)

Grade: A

Singers like Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots and others have tried their hands at solo records and usually end up with nothing more than a handful of forgettable songs. After fronting a few different bands such as Further Seems Forever, Chris Carrabba recorded his second solo release under the name Dashboard Confessional, which is nothing but great music.

As the name Dashboard Confessional suggests, this album consists of the anecdotes of a young man troubled by his life. Carrabba has taken his feelings and emotion and recorded them onto one truly great album.

While the music teeters in tone from happy to sad, the songs make listeners feel good. Using his lyrical ability to paint the pictures of his life, Carrabba presents listeners with a situation so vivid it gives them goosebumps.

With a simplistic approach, Carrabba sings lyrics such as "Buried deep as you can dig inside yourself/ and covered with a perfect shell/ such a charming beautiful exterior" from the album's title track. Carrabba's acoustic guitar and voice make his emotion come alive.

Carrabba uses bass and drums on only a few of the tracks, yet the lack of instruments is hardly noticeable. The entire album flows well and the songs sound perfect in their succession.

The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most exudes life and has the elements to make any listener smile. Carrabba is an exceptional writer, and his new album exemplifies his talent.