After posting in this thread on the Sound Ops board, I figured I should explain myself a little more. To recap: I like Dashboard Confessional.
Yes, I'm talking about the mostly-acoustic rock group with its enigmatic lead singer/songwriter, Chris Carrabba. There is definitely a devout cult following to the group (especially Carrabba) and you can consider me a member of the cult. However, I'm not hypnotized by the music as the media tends to shine the most light on. While there are plenty of people who sing along to every word and act like they are possessed by Chris' presence, I just enjoy the music.
I will say this, I rarely pay close attention to lyrics. I pay more attention to the moods, rhythms, feels and most importantly, the melodies. If Thom Yorke of Radiohead sang a beautiful melody while reading off his list of groceries, I probably wouldn't realize that he was doing that. The point is, I never really noticed the rather "high school-like" lyrics found in most of Dashboard's songs. Case in point, these lyrics found in "As Lovers Go": "I said, 'I've got to be honest, I've been waiting for you all my life.'/For so long I thought I was asylum bound, but just seeing you makes me think twice." Lines like these are more for the mushy side of young love and definitely not for everyone.
Then there is the complaint about Chris' voice being too whiny. I don't mind his voice and I don't think it's too whiny. Sure, he ventures off-key when he gets a little too intense but at least he's not holding anything back. I've heard a lot of whiny singers that sing through their noses and I can barely handle five seconds of that.
Finally, nobody talks about the band's drummer, Mike Marsh. He's a solid drummer who has a unique approach: he plays way a head of the beat. Most drummers play a little behind or a little ahead of the beat, but he plays as if he is rushing the beat. Strange, but this approach works.
So there you have it. I like hearing their music, but don't expect me to grow a faux-hawk, make facial expressions like Kermit the Frog or get my arms filled with tattoos.