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Dear You

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Album Review

1995's Dear You finds Jawbreaker cleaning up and streamlining their punk-pop sound and coming up with a sleek, slick punk-grunge classic that relies as much on clever songwriting and restrained emotions as it does on the group's trademarked high-energy attack. From the opening chords of the anthemic "Save Your Generation," Blake Schwarzenbach's vocals are the star. He was coming off of throat surgery that robbed him of a lot of his vocal power but gave him a smoky intimate sound that gives the feeling that he is whispering right in your ear. On songs like "I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both" or "Jet Black," he sounds wounded in a way that screaming could never convey. The album is a powerful mix of jumpy punk-pop like "Bad Scene," "Everybody's Fault," "Fireman," and the aching "Chemistry" and mid-tempo tracks like the amazing "Jet Black," "Million," and "Basilica that escapes being tied to the time of grunge-by-the-numbers by being melodic and heartfelt without going over the top, by being just punk enough to be real and just epic enough to rise above the often boringly earnest approach of too many punk bands. Along with Weezer's Blue Album, Dear You is one of the cornerstones upon which emo and late-'90s punk-pop were built. Certainly Jimmy Eat World wore out their copy, as Bleed American sounds like a less produced younger brother, and Dashboard Confessional's whole oeuvre sounds like a lesser version of Dear You's acoustic "Unlisted Track." Depending on how you feel about emo, there is either a lot to blame Jawbreaker for or be thankful for here. Either way, Dear You is one of the best rock records of the '90s and a fitting last testament to a great band.

Customer Reviews


my dad was the drummer in jawbreaker and i have to say even if i didn't i know blake and chris (the bassist) and adam, my dad , i would still love this band.

Essential for anyone who calls themselves a music fan

Black Schwarzenbach is the greatest lyricst ever. No one even comes close, except maybe Jesse Lacey. You have to buy this album. It's beauty distilled into musical form.

Third times a charm

This is one of the best alt albums ever. I'm a third time buyer 94-99-09. You may as well buy the whole album, its perfect. If you don't you'll be back for the rest later.


Formed: 1988 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Independently minded and adhering to the old-school D.I.Y. punk mentality, West Coast punk-pop trio Jawbreaker's street-smart -- yet poetic -- lyrics, spirited musicality, and marathon live shows put them a cut above contemporaries like Green Day and blink-182. After a series of EPs and singles, guitarist/singer Blake Schwarzenbach, bassist Chris Bauermeister, and drummer Adam Pfahler released the band's debut album, Unfun, in 1989. Independent label San Francisco Tupelo/Communion signed the group...
Full Bio