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Classic Album Review: Dashboard Confessional | A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar

The emo troubadour's fourth full-length reminds you he has nowhere to go but down.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


In a way, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba.

Sure, the emo singer-guitarist is on top of the world right now. Sure, he’s become the poster boy for sensitive guys and teenage angst. Sure, his pretty-boy looks and punk-cred tattoos have helped make him an MTV god. Sure, every time he plays a gig every kid in the audience sings every line of every song along with him. And sure, with his fourth release A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar, he’s made the strongest album of his career — a cohesive, aggressive set of emo-pop fuelled by his chiming guitars, openhearted lyrics, romantic melodies and vocals that move gracefully from an intimate whisper to a yearning yowl. And sure, when you put that all together, there’s little doubt he seems destined to become the reigning teenage idol of his generation. And that’s why I feel sorry for Carrabba — ’cause five years from now, he’ll have most likely been tossed aside for the next cutie-pie sensitive boy like every other teen idol. And if he thinks life sucks now, well, just wait till he’s palling around with Justin Timberlake in 2008. Then he’ll really have something to cry about.


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