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Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home Review

by Matthew Hastie

It's rare for me to find an artist that I simply cannot find a qualm with. I love the Chili Peppers, and even though I love Dave Navarro as well, wasn't One Hot Minute not only a mistake but a blasphemy? However, Dustin Kensrue of Thrice fame has yet to do wrong in my eyes. The man is simply one of the best lyricists in his field of post-hardcore/screamo/mallcore or whatever the crap you want to label it as. With his solo CD, "Please Come Home" Dustin goes more back to basics than Christina Aguilera with her so sugary pop hits my teeth hurt after hearing her. A lot of you will be turned away by the fact that Kensrue doesn't even go anywhere near a typical Thrice song, or anything of that genre for that matter. Instead he channels Johnny Cash, Ryan Adams, Pete Yorn, and some good old blues.

While the CD could be considered barely a jaunt (it only clocks in at 29 minutes) it doesn't feel lacking in any respects. In the 8 tracks Kensrue covers family, drug abuse, loss, poverty, and many other topics. With a little help from his fellow members of Thrice; Teppei Teranishi, Eddie Breckenridge, and Riley Breckenridge, Kensrue creates a masterful album that has the potential to be one of the best albums of the year. One of the biggest selling points is the pure simplicity of the album, you won't find an abundance of background noise and synthesizes anywhere. In many respects this is what will set "Please Come Home" so far apart from the numerous Protooled, massively over produced records that will probably come out this year. One of the biggest questions is how it will stand up to Thrice's untitled four seasons epic to be released in May.

Songs such as album opener "I Knew You Before" and "Blanket of Ghosts" are in the singer/songwriter vein of Adams, Yorn, and as well Damien Rice. "Consider the Ravens", although about being poor, is a song that you would hear on a sunny beach being sung in a carefree standard. Where I feel the album shines the most is on title track "Please Come Home" and "Blood & Wine". "Please Come Home" is a remorseful song sung from a father's perspective of watching his child walk a path of self destruction and pleading for their safe return home. "Blood & Wine" has Cash written all over it. The song tells a tale of drug addiction that has led to a robbery attempt and the taste of blood. The blues are reborn again as he howls, "Now that I've tasted blood, this wine seems too thin."

Any fans of singer/songwriters will definitely dig this CD. While fans of current pop music might be turned away, they will find some similarities to Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, and Rocco De Luca. The biggest battle will be getting the hardcore kids to step back and accept the album for what it is. Hopefully this album will get the respect it deserves through time. I doubt we will ever see it make a huge appearance on the charts, but at the end of the year maybe we will see it top several critics best of lists.

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Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home


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