Sound — 6
The new sound of Dashboard Confessional is well. It's okay, but it sure was a hell of a lot better when it was only Chris with his guitar. Next To Swiss Army Romance and Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, this album seems kind of bland. Don't get me wrong though, I'm a Dashboard fan and I love their music, but it just doesn't get me. The full band version of Hands Down is pretty good, as is Bend and Not Break, but Ghost of A Good Thing sounds way better. They should've left the full cranked distortions for the clean acoustic sound, because, as much as I'd hate to say it, I think they're starting to sound like some of those mainstream punk bands, or worse, mainstream pop/rock bands (noooo!). Making a full band acoustic song like Screaming Infidelities or Saints and Sailors would have made it better. Still, it sounds pretty damn good.
Lyrics — 10
This is a no-brainer. Although it doesn't sound as good as the previous albums, A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar has, as usual, all the great aspects of Chris Carrabba's eloquentness in weaving his lyrics. The metaphors I loved in Places and Swiss Army Romance is still strong in the new lyrics. They still make awesome songs. Something I would listen to for days on end.
Overall Impression — 8
Well, this album rocks. It's not as good as Places or Swiss Army, but it deserves an honorable mention. The new sound isn't really them, and they should've stuck with acoustics, even on full band songs. The lyrics are great, and keep up with the repertoire of the previous ones. Am I Missing, Ghost of a Good Thing, and Bend and Not Break are good songs, but with the new sound I didn't really enjoy the rest. The full band touch on Hands Down was good, and the band worked well for As Lovers Go, but the rest a bit too light. What a pity. A good album, but still has some flaws. I would've given a 4.5, but a 4'll have to do. I'd hate to give my fave band anything less than a 5, but I'll stick to my scores. Way to go, Chris and band. But next time, go easy on the distortion, or better yet, go full acoustic, aight?