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The Swiss Army Romance

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Album Review

Dashboard Confessional's Christopher Carrabba became pretty famous thanks to pop kids latching onto his band's second album, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most. Released in 2001, this album carried Dashboard Confessional from the emo underground to the mainstream charts during an 18-month period; Carrabba made the cover of Spin two years later and late-night music stints on the shows of David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, and Craig Kilborn once again scoped Dashboard Confessional's star power. After a successful worldwide tour, Vagrant decided to reissue Dashboard Confessional's first album, Swiss Army Romance, three years after its initial release. Chances are that major fans would have purchased the album already; however, to capitalize on the band's fame, Vagrant added two new tracks. Once you sift through the jilted love of "Screaming Infidelities" and nurse the nagging pain of lost relationships in "Living in Your Letters" for the millionth time, Dashboard's shiniest pop moments can be found on the bonus cuts "This Is a Forgery" and "Hold On." They don't totally move away from Carrabba's classic melancholic desires, but they offer an experimental pop trip different from Dashboard's indie acoustics. For those who've adored everything that came before, they'll surely make room for two more hidden treasures.


Formed: 1999 in Boca Raton, FL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Christopher Carrabba became the poster boy for a new generation of emo fans in the early 2000s, having left behind his former band (the post-hardcore Christian outfit Further Seems Forever) to concentrate on vulnerable, introspective solo musings. Armed with an acoustic guitar and soul-baring song lyrics, he christened his new project Dashboard Confessional -- named after a lyric in "The Sharp Hint of New Tears" -- and began releasing material in 2000. By 2001's The Place You Have...
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