Since Chris Carrabba—aka Dashboard Confessional—wears his emotions on his sleeve, it's easy to see that beneath the pain and anger, he's a sensitive young man; think Jewel after an injec

Since Chris Carrabba—aka Dashboard Confessional—wears his emotions on his sleeve, it's easy to see that beneath the pain and anger, he's a sensitive young man; think Jewel after an injection of adrenaline and a healthy dose of testosterone. His voice, alternately quietly breathy on the low notes and straining at full volume in the upper register, could have been plucked from any number of pop/rock bands, while his melodic guitar riffs are acoustic and strongly strummed but a hint gentler and vastly more heartfelt than most top 40 fare. Carrabba's earnest lyrics tackle relationship woes with the introspective angst expected of a 20-something songwriter, albeit with more originality than most. The album could use some variations in tone, subject matter, and style, but on tracks like "The Ruined Puzzle" and "Saints and Sailors," Carrabba crafts radio-friendly pop without sacrificing his integrity or sincerity.—WH

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