The Places You
Have Come to Fear the Most
Alternative Press recently
published its list of the "best breakup albums of all time," or
something like that. As usual, the list leaves off a lot of classics.
Where's Joni Mitchell's Blue? Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate
Machine? Bob Mould's Black Sheets of Rain? Those were my
choices for getting through the "get lost" blues.
Confessional takes a stab at the tradition of creating music that only
those who've been dumped, deceived or betrayed can understand and embrace.
These songs are directed with laser-beam accuracy toward the 18-and-under
crowd who are looking for allies in their lost battles with love.
lyrics -- directed at an ex-lover -- are painfully simple but too often
cross into trite territory. Let's be honest, when you're wandering
blankly in the aftershock of being dumped, trite is exactly what you're
looking for. Especially if you're young and this is your first heartbreak
and you're just starting to realize no one really gives a shit about your
already hear the kids singing every word to "The Best
Deceptions" -- with the lyric And all the 'Best Deceptions' and
'Clever Cover Story' awards go to you/So kiss me hard 'cause this will be
the last time that I let you -- while they lean forward to touch
mastermind Christopher Ender Carrabba's hand, weeping unashamedly.
Unfortunately, Carrabba has a nasty habit of going too far, like on the treacle-y "This Bitter Pill,"
which borders on the work of Corey
Flood, the character played by Lili Taylor in Say Anything, who
uttered the movie's most pathetic line: "I've written 57 songs about
Joe, and I'm gonna sing every one of them tonight," while, off to the
side, people are snickering at her.
The CD's ultimate downfall is its all-too-often juvenile approach. Anyone over 18
will merely shake their heads and say, "Yeah, it does suck, but
you'll survive." And those who've never been on the business end of
the relationship sword won't get it all. They'll only hear whiney,
cry-baby, "poor me" music mixed with a twist of self-loathing.
Carrabba's high-school voice betrays commercial intentions and will keep The
Places You Have Come... forever off that AP list and instead, as in my case
and anyone over 20, places it in the "guilty pleasures"