I like 'Vindicated' by Dashboard Confessional.
Actually seeing it written down like that triples the shame I feel about liking this song. I feel embarassed about admitting this. It's like I'm stepping out of some massive social closet. I should hate everything about this situation. In fact, I should even hate everything about that sentence.
I should hate Chris Carrabba too. With his heavily tattoed biceps, boy-next-door-with-crush-on-you gaze and clipped Ken-doll haircut the guy couldn't look more like he was built from a kit if he tried. I should be able to distance myself from the by-the-numbers way this song was put together. It's so insidiously calculated you could reduce it to an equation! In fact, I will:
Determined intro + quiet reflective-sounding verse + soaring choruses/big echoey bridge = swooning females + money in bank
I can't even sing along with it without wanting to phone up my friends and tell them to come round to my house and kick my arse, which, if they heard me singing lyrics like these, they probably would:
"Hope dangles on a string/Like slow-spinning redemption/winding in and winding out/the shine of it has caught my eye." (GAAAAAAH!)
So what's the problem? Why this inability to hit the eject button and fling this single across the room?
Well, I just saw the new Spider Man flick and this single is intertwined with my memories of it. So it follows that whenever Carraba hits that first chorus in that broken puppy voice of his that manages the enviable trick of conveying the moods of inadequacy and triumph in equal parts, I'm screwed. Because, you see, no matter how fey and twee his lyrics are, and how achingly over-earnest he sounds, Carraba still manages to channel the spirit of the film – a hero wracked with imperfections, a public loser making good privately. Carraba could be singing about working in a tannery in East Timor and I'd still want to be leaping off rooftops and swinging through the city to save the day.
This is a free lesson from the king of complaint-rock-pop, people, and it's soon going to be as inescapable as Spidey's webbing, so you might as well hold your hands up now. There are worse ways to go...
8Nick Cowen's Score