Dear You

It’s about time this misunderstood album was available again. Originally released in 1995, Dear You was the fourth album by the highly regarded bicoastal trio Jawbreaker but was its first for major-label DGC/Geffen. The fans’ reaction illustrated the perils of indie-rock snobbery—vehement cries of betrayal ultimately led to Jawbreaker’s demise, mere months later. In retrospect, this 13-song album (with four originals, a cover of the Psychedelic Furs’ “Into You Like a Train” and the video for “Fireman” added on) is the ur-text for contemporary emo-rock. You’ll either love the widescreen sound, walls of abraded guitar chords and the sore-throat vocals of Blake Schwarzenbach (now of Jets to Brazil), or you won’t. But its concise little masterpieces, like “Chemistry” and “Oyster,” still sound brilliant.