Emo music—as well as the guylinered, skinny jeans-fitted subculture it helped spawn—has received a lot of flak since the likes of Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance propelled it to mainstream success in the 2000s.
The Internet alone is riddled with potshots at the emo scene, with the highest-rated definition of the term on Urban Dictionary claiming that it is a “genre of softcore punk music that integrates unenthusiastic melodramatic 17 year olds who dont smile, high pitched overwrought lyrics and inaudible guitar rifts (sic)”.
But emo does have its merits, as we learn from Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, who is in town to do a solo acoustic set at the Smash Project 2012 happening on March 8 (That's today!) at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Chris Carrabba on the cover of his solo cover album
And since he’s the same guy who captured each scorned soul’s sentiments when he sang of hair everywhere that screamed infidelities, we’re inclined to believe in him.
Below, five reasons it’s okay to be emo:
1.Emo lets you express yourself.
For songwriters, emo presents an outlet with which they can indulge their pent-up emotions; for fans of the genre, it serves as a validation of their own feelings. Carrabba, whose big-hearted anthems like “Vindicated,” “Hands Down,” and “Stolen” have become battlecries for legions of young people everywhere, admits that the music he makes allows him to express a variety of emotions: “Sometimes it’s aggression, and sometimes it’s happiness, and sometimes it’s sadness, and sometimes it’s elation,” he says.
Or sometimes too, pants-shitting terror.
2. Your new wave heroes? They’re emo.
The Cure and The Smiths, two of the most seminal acts of the 80s, have a lot in common with the emo bands of the aughties, and no, it’s not just a penchant for eyeliner. They sing about romantic turmoil with a heartbreaking earnestness. Carrabba lists both artists as lyrical influences, particularly The Cure’s Robert Smith. “The Cure’s songs seem to be about sadness and somehow that resonates with me a lot,” Carrabba says. “I sort of credit the newer aspects of my songwriting closer to Robert Smith.”