Dustin Kensrue - Please Come Home (Cover Artwork)

Dustin Kensrue

Dustin Kensrue: Please Come HomePlease Come Home (2007)
Equal Vision Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: BryneBryne
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Solo albums usually fall into two categories. Roughly half of these releases are little more than pretentious self-experimentation, something that sounds so outlandish it couldn't possibly be digested by anyone other than hardcore fans of the artist's primary band. The other half usually sees the pe.
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Solo albums usually fall into two categories. Roughly half of these releases are little more than pretentious self-experimentation, something that sounds so outlandish it couldn't possibly be digested by anyone other than hardcore fans of the artist's primary band. The other half usually sees the performer in a stripped-down setting, relying on little more than an acoustic guitar and a voice to get a point across. What's interesting is that while not a solo act, lately Thrice seems to be delving into the former part of this all-too-common dichotomy...which gives frontman Dustin Kensrue a chance to go the route of the latter, using less instrumentation and showing more introspection on his solo debut, Please Come Home.

"I Knew You Before" opens the record nicely enough, with Kensrue's gruff voice and driving acoustic guitar work carrying the song. The immediate comparison that came to mind was Ryan Adams, and the following track, "Pistol," is a slower number (with some great harmonica to boot) that continues to validate that comparison. Both "I Believe" and "Blood & Wine" are fantastic straight-up blues tracks, the former moving at a slower, galloping pace and the latter a considerably faster sub-two minute affair. The final three tracks of Please Come Home slow things down a bit musically as all three tracks eclipse the four-minute mark. While it does slow the album's momentum a bit, the songs here are so strong it doesn't become a detractor. "Consider the Ravens" features some appropriately placed piano, played by Thrice guitarist Teppei Teranishi. "Weary Saints" is actually the lone track on this record that sounds like it could pass as an acoustic Thrice B-side. The closer, "Blanket of Ghosts" is a classic closer for an album of this ilk. The emotion seeping through the speakers, while present throughout, is nearly palpable on this track. I never thought I'd comment on organ play in any song, but the organ in "Blanket of Ghosts" (also played by Teranishi) really adds to the despondent aura of the song.

The lyrical content of Please Come Home is status quo for the genre. Themes such as addiction, loss, faith, death, and lonesomeness are all present. Kensrue isn't reinventing the wheel here because for this type of music he doesn't have to. Those previously mentioned themes have been prevalent in blues and country since their respective inceptions and hopefully that never changes. The sole complaint I can muster for this record is its runtime. At eight tracks and just under half an hour it feels more like a glorified EP than a full-length. I don't know if many of Thrice's fans would be into this record, but undoubtedly that's not the goal here. When taken at face value, Please Come Homeis more than solid enough to stand on its own as an extremely enjoyable debut and shows a world of promise for Dustin Kensrue as a singer-songwriter.


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThrice - VheissuJawbreaker - Dear YouThe Falcon - UnicornographyRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeModest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even SankThursday - A City by the Light DividedWeezer - WeezerThe Weakerthans - Left and Leaving

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 5, 2007)

tbh that doesn't sound like a 4* album. also 'classic closer': read crap.

Scruffy (February 1, 2007)

First, if these were lost Ryan Adam's b-sides, they would suck, as most of his b-sides do.

Second, NO, Colin meant "good designer". There is nothing wrong with the photograph. The designer is the one who placed the photograph so the "T" was right beneath the name.

Anonymous (February 1, 2007)

Of all bands, break the silence sent me a bulletin to go to fuel tv's live solo performance for Dustin. HOLY CRAP he looks like a poligamist, hilarious.

Anonymous (February 1, 2007)

christ on skates, equal vision. get a good designer

you mean photographer...

ok album... I still prefer Mike Ness

Anonymous (February 1, 2007)

tell dustin that ryan adams called and wants his lost b-sides back.

Anonymous (January 31, 2007)

"this album makes me sleepy" Sounds like the feeling I got from goin to the last couple thrice live shows( BORING)and the feeling I got from their last peice of garbarge record.

Anonymous (January 31, 2007)

this album makes me sleepy.

nocigar (January 31, 2007)

I bet this is a lot better than that piece of shit band Thrice.

Anonymous (January 31, 2007)

The "T" helps spell NUT. maybe he is subliminally saying "put deez nutz in yo mouf"

jacobe (January 31, 2007)

I think it's a shame that the ITunes version of this came out 3 weeks early and had 12 tracks.

vitustinnitus (January 31, 2007)

i really don't like this album

SydBarrett420 (January 30, 2007)

The alt country shctick got old after the first two-three tracks. Most of the songs just pointlessly meander. I couldn't make it past the fourth track without falling asleep.

bioniczero (January 30, 2007)

I thought this was solid. Given the wankery Thrice indulge in these days, Kensrue should put together a solid backing band and just do this kind of thing instead.

branden (January 30, 2007)

colin, that "T" is seriously fucked. its all i see when i look at the cover now haha

Anonymous (January 30, 2007)

dustin's voice irritates me on this. it's the fake southern accent. some people can do the southern thing well, rocky votolato comes to mind, but dustin just ends up sounding like pop country-rock.

Anonymous (January 30, 2007)

"I'm of the opinion that "Vheissu" isn't some sort of "pretentious self-expression" and is actually Thrice's best release. "

Vheissu was an attempt at expanding their sound and it failed miserably. Not as boring as Dustin's solo record, but it's in the discussion.

The "pretentious self-expression" album will be their next album based on Captain Planet.

Anonymous (January 30, 2007)

At the most, this deserves three stars.

Unless you're a really big Thrice fan, nothing stand out at all.

And more importantly, the record overall is soooooo boring.

Some of his early bootlegs sound so much better.

Anonymous (January 30, 2007)

what the fuck happened to equal vision and revelation. give me a break. im too old?!?!?

baseball (January 30, 2007)

i've never been a Thrice fan

this wasn't what i was expecting, but this is a solid release IMO

file under: stuff i'll listen to all day at work, but not much outside of that

hubitcherkokov (January 30, 2007)

I'm of the opinion that "Vheissu" isn't some sort of "pretentious self-expression" and is actually Thrice's best release.

This album is also pretty killer.

SilentStorms (January 30, 2007)

I used to love Thrice. And since I have gotten into Rocky Votolato and Fingers Cut Megamachine, so this just sounds kinda shitty. P.S. John Vanderslice could kick his ass. Muahahaha I'm just kidding, emo guys don't fight.

Anonymous (January 30, 2007)

hehe if you read diagonally the N-U-T is spells, well, `NUT' :).

Anonymous (January 30, 2007)

solid record, except for that herion song, but whoever designed the cover should be shot for having that "T" right under his name on the layout. christ on skates, equal vision. get a good designer.

-colin at work.

sXenester (January 30, 2007)

i enjoyed it.

fresnoska (January 30, 2007)

I dont know why I bought this (probably cause it was 7.98 at Target), it is booooooooring . Glad I sold it for more than I payed

danperrone (January 30, 2007)

he doesn't hold a candle to counting crows' version of "round here" which is one of the top ten songs of its decade

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