A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Review

artist: Dashboard Confessional date: 07/19/2004 category: compact discs
Dashboard Confessional: A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar
Released: Jul 15, 2003
Genre: Rock
Styles: Indie Rock, Emo
Number Of Tracks: 13
 Sound: 8.9
 Lyrics: 8.9
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 8 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.8 
 Users rating:
 7.2 
 Votes:
 10 
 Views:
 123 
reviews (7) 1 comment vote for this album:
overall: 10
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Reviewed by: UG Team, on december 16, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I think arpeggiating chord progressions is a great way to get to know the fretboard better. The chords can be just triad voicings, but of course the whole thing gets way more interesting (my opinion!) and also trickier if you take four or more notes per voicing. I made up an arpeggio etude over a very common jazz progression. Here you have the formula: VIm7 - IIm7 - V7 - Imaj7 - IVmaj7 - VIIm7b5 - IV7 - VIm7(VI7) Dm7 - Gm7 - C7 - Fmaj7 - Bbmaj7 - Em7b5 - A7 - Dm7 (D7) Learn the first arpeggio until you can play it over and over at a certain speed, then go on to the next one and so on, and finally play the whole thing. Try to find trouble spots, pick the arp the problematic notes are in and learn it until you can play it. I think the most difficult spots will probably be where you return from tapping to sweeping upwards. Each arpeggio is played up over two octaves and then back down, so it contains 16 notes per bar (So play sixteenth notes if you use a metronome. Always use downstrokes for the ascending notes that you don't hammer, and use upstrokes for the descending notes you don't pull. With that and a little speed you'll really get that sweep feeling. It will take a little time until you can play it fast, but remember: This etude is not necessarily only about speed, you can also try to bring a little dynamics (accelerando / ritardando etc.) into it. I also wrote the fingering the way I play it, but feel free to change it if you like. Nuff said, now get yer guitar out and learn that stuff!!! t = right hand tap (I always use my middle finger) t---| = hold the tap until the | / \ = slide up/down h p = hammer-on/pull-off Key = Dm7 t |--------------5h8-10p8p5--------------------------| |------------6------------6------------------------| |--------5h7----------------7p5--------------------| |------7------------------------7------------------| |--5h8----------------------------8/---------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 1 4 3 1 3 2 1 4 4 1 2 3 1 3 4 Gm7 t------| |--------------6h10-13/1513p10p6------------------| |------------8--------------------8----------------| |-------7h10------------------------10p7-----------| |-----8----------------------------------8---------| |-/10----------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 4 2 1 4 2 1 4 4 1 2 4 1 3 C7 |------------------6h8p6---------------------------| |----------------8-------8-------------------------| |--------------9-----------9-----------------------| |---------8h10---------------10p8------------------| |----7h10-------------------------10p7-------------| |--8-----------------------------------------------| 2 1 3 2 4 3 2 1 2 1 1 3 4 2 3 1 Fmaj7 t------| |------------5h8-12/1312p8p5----------------------| |--------5h6------------------6p5------------------| |------5--------------------------5----------------| |----7------------------------------7--------------| |--8-----------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 4 3 1 1 2 1 4 4 1 2 1 1 3 Bbmaj7 |----------------5h6p5-----------------------------| |--------------6-------6---------------------------| |------------7-----------7-------------------------| |--------7h8---------------8p7---------------------| |----5h8-----------------------8p5/----------------| |--6-----------------------------------------------| 2 1 4 3 4 3 2 1 2 1 2 3 4 3 4 1 Em7b5 t |---------------6h10-12p10p6-----------------------| |-------------8--------------8---------------------| |---------7h9------------------9p7-----------------| |-------8--------------------------8---------------| |-/7h10------------------------------10/-----------| |--------------------------------------------------| 1 4 2 1 3 2 1 4 4 1 2 3 1 2 4 A7 t------| |----------------9h12-15/1715p12p9----------------| |-------------10--------------------10-------------| |--------9h12--------------------------12p9--------| |-----11------------------------------------11-----| |-/12----------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 4 3 1 4 2 1 4 4 1 2 4 1 3 Dm7 D7 |--------------------------10----------------------|-----| |--------------------10-13----13-10----------------|-----| |-----------------10----------------11-------------|-----| |-----------10-12----------------------12-10-------|-----| |--------12----------------------------------12----|-----| |--10-13----------------------------------------14-|-10~-| 1 4 3 1 3 1 1 4 1 4 1 2 3 1 3 4 1 // 10

Lyrics: I think arpeggiating chord progressions is a great way to get to know the fretboard better. The chords can be just triad voicings, but of course the whole thing gets way more interesting (my opinion!) and also trickier if you take four or more notes per voicing. I made up an arpeggio etude over a very common jazz progression. Here you have the formula: VIm7 - IIm7 - V7 - Imaj7 - IVmaj7 - VIIm7b5 - IV7 - VIm7(VI7) Dm7 - Gm7 - C7 - Fmaj7 - Bbmaj7 - Em7b5 - A7 - Dm7 (D7) Learn the first arpeggio until you can play it over and over at a certain speed, then go on to the next one and so on, and finally play the whole thing. Try to find trouble spots, pick the arp the problematic notes are in and learn it until you can play it. I think the most difficult spots will probably be where you return from tapping to sweeping upwards. Each arpeggio is played up over two octaves and then back down, so it contains 16 notes per bar (So play sixteenth notes if you use a metronome. Always use downstrokes for the ascending notes that you don't hammer, and use upstrokes for the descending notes you don't pull. With that and a little speed you'll really get that sweep feeling. It will take a little time until you can play it fast, but remember: This etude is not necessarily only about speed, you can also try to bring a little dynamics (accelerando / ritardando etc.) into it. I also wrote the fingering the way I play it, but feel free to change it if you like. Nuff said, now get yer guitar out and learn that stuff!!! t = right hand tap (I always use my middle finger) t---| = hold the tap until the | / \ = slide up/down h p = hammer-on/pull-off Key = Dm7 t |--------------5h8-10p8p5--------------------------| |------------6------------6------------------------| |--------5h7----------------7p5--------------------| |------7------------------------7------------------| |--5h8----------------------------8/---------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 1 4 3 1 3 2 1 4 4 1 2 3 1 3 4 Gm7 t------| |--------------6h10-13/1513p10p6------------------| |------------8--------------------8----------------| |-------7h10------------------------10p7-----------| |-----8----------------------------------8---------| |-/10----------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 4 2 1 4 2 1 4 4 1 2 4 1 3 C7 |------------------6h8p6---------------------------| |----------------8-------8-------------------------| |--------------9-----------9-----------------------| |---------8h10---------------10p8------------------| |----7h10-------------------------10p7-------------| |--8-----------------------------------------------| 2 1 3 2 4 3 2 1 2 1 1 3 4 2 3 1 Fmaj7 t------| |------------5h8-12/1312p8p5----------------------| |--------5h6------------------6p5------------------| |------5--------------------------5----------------| |----7------------------------------7--------------| |--8-----------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 4 3 1 1 2 1 4 4 1 2 1 1 3 Bbmaj7 |----------------5h6p5-----------------------------| |--------------6-------6---------------------------| |------------7-----------7-------------------------| |--------7h8---------------8p7---------------------| |----5h8-----------------------8p5/----------------| |--6-----------------------------------------------| 2 1 4 3 4 3 2 1 2 1 2 3 4 3 4 1 Em7b5 t |---------------6h10-12p10p6-----------------------| |-------------8--------------8---------------------| |---------7h9------------------9p7-----------------| |-------8--------------------------8---------------| |-/7h10------------------------------10/-----------| |--------------------------------------------------| 1 4 2 1 3 2 1 4 4 1 2 3 1 2 4 A7 t------| |----------------9h12-15/1715p12p9----------------| |-------------10--------------------10-------------| |--------9h12--------------------------12p9--------| |-----11------------------------------------11-----| |-/12----------------------------------------------| |--------------------------------------------------| 4 3 1 4 2 1 4 4 1 2 4 1 3 Dm7 D7 |--------------------------10----------------------|-----| |--------------------10-13----13-10----------------|-----| |-----------------10----------------11-------------|-----| |-----------10-12----------------------12-10-------|-----| |--------12----------------------------------12----|-----| |--10-13----------------------------------------14-|-10~-| 1 4 3 1 3 1 1 4 1 4 1 2 3 1 3 4 1 // 10

Overall Impression: How exciting! We're watching a band grow here. Am I the only one who cares? Dashboard Confessional has come out with a new album, A Mark. A Mission. A Brand. A Scar, and people are taking notice. I actually happen to be a fan of the band in addition to a critic, so I have taken note of the reviews. The ever-finicky Rolling Stone magazine even gave it a favorable review. In addition to that I've seen widespread publicity on MTV and airplay on my local stations. Looks like Chris Carraba and the band are coming into its own. I of course had to refer to my review of their previous release, The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, and see what I was thinking back then. In a nutshell, that album revealed Chris Carraba as a very passionate singer who rocks on an acoustic guitar, but the album lacks in musical variety and lyrical depth. To get back to my opening thought, with this most recent release, we are seeing a band, rather man, who has grown in his musical outlook. (On a side note, I am conflicted between calling Dashboard a band or man. However, for the sake of this review, we'll call them a man since Chris Carraba is the brains behind this operation.) Anyway, I think what separates this newest release is that the music is more fulfilled and appealing to a larger audience. I initially tabbed DC for a niche audience whereas A Mark. A Mission. A Brand. A Scar could reach a larger audience. That does however raise the question as to whether Chris has lost that thing that made him original. It's a fine line between improving, elaborating and selling out. In this scenario I'll chalk it up to improving. After all, it's still the same lyrics, message and angst. Where would we be without the angst? The first track is also the first release off the album. Fans of the band should know Hands Down. I first heard it on the live MTV album. Shocker this fun song is about dating teenagers. I actually don't know how old Chris is, but if he's not 18, he may be a pedophile. Just kidding! I crack myself up. This is a good, poppy song but not nearly the best on the album. I am often mystified by the songs that are chosen to be the first release off of an album, but what are you gonna' do? However, moving on, track 3 As Lovers Go is a personal favorite. You can really sense a different flavor from the band musically, despite the lyrics. I'll be true, I'll be useful... I'll be cavalier...I'll be yours my dear. This song definitely has that mass appeal I was talking about, it is actually harmonic. Don't get me wrong I like his voice, but to be honest it can be whiney. That's not the case with As Lovers Go. Keep your ears pealed for this one. The mid-section of this record is really strong. In addition to As Lovers Go, track 5, Bend and Not Break, and track 7, Am I Missing, are both true miracles. I actually think track 5 should've been the original release. A real work of art that anyone could appreciate- Try to understand, there is an old mistake that fools will make/And I'm the king of them, pushing everything that's good away/So won't you hold me now? I will not bend, I will not break/Won't you hold me now? For you I rise for you I fall. This song epitomizes the improvement I described. This song is distinctly DC with the lyrics and emotion. The difference lies in the way the music turns to make it more elaborate. Bend and Not Break gets a gold star. Lets not forget track 7. While 5 is a more complete song, I actually tab 7 as my favorite. I Am Missing hums like a heartbeat. I absolutely love the layered vocals over the chorus. I came from this album with a new perspective of DC. I think most people will tend to lean towards #7 as their favorite as well. It just has that feel-good rhythm. To my pleasant surprise, this CD has a full 13 songs unlike the first release that only sported 10 tracks. I like to think of each song as a member of a team. Some are stars like 3, 5 and 7. Others are role players. For instance, track 8, Morning Calls is okay, but it has its bright spots. I love these lyrics; Don't blink/Everyone's watching/They'll think that you're up to something/They need for you to be everything/that they cannot be themselves. In fact, I would say every song on the album is solid. If I were a betting man, I'd take A Mark. A Mission. A Brand. A Scar in a fight over The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most any day. What the heck am I talking about? Oh yes, good songs. I don't want to drone on in a monotonous fashion struggling for witty things to say about each song, so I'll wrap this sucker up ASAP. Track 13, Several Ways To Die Trying, ties together the album beautifully. A lovely ballad indeed. The chorus in particular is compelling, check it out- Tonight, they're burning the roads they built to lead us to the light/And blinding our hearts with their shining lies/while closing our caskets cold and tight/But I'm dying to live. Anyway, it's a nice conclusion to an excellent record. I guess if nothing else we can say that this album is better than the last. If you could say the same for most bands I think we would all be most pleased. I don't know if this is technically their sophomore album since they've got so many other LP's and singles, but there is no slump. Dashboard is a band on the rise and if you're lucky to be reading this you already knew that. I hope I have the opportunity to look back on this review when their next album comes out and say to you that Chris has matured lyrically as well. He showed glimpses on this record. Either way I'm a reinforced fan and you will be as well. Buy it today my friend, buy it today. Chris Carraba gives his album 5 stars! // 10

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overall: 10
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Reviewed by: playguitar6847, on december 16, 2003
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Sound: This CD is a very good emo CD. Most of the songs are done on acoustic guitar, so it is very soft. Chris Carabba and the rest of DBC did a really good job on this CD. // 10

Lyrics: Don't get me started on how good the lyrics are. Hands Down is the typical song about a girl (so are most of the other songs) but every song excels on the lyrics. // 10

Overall Impression: I think the most impressive songs are Hands Down and Bend and Not Break, they are just plain good. If it were stolen or lost, I would instantly buy this CD. This CD is worth buying. Go buy it. Now. // 10

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overall: 6
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 16, 2004
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Sound: This is not as good as So Impossible or Swiss Army Romance. It was better when it was just Chris Carrabba and his acoustic guitar. The band ruined the original emo-punk Dashboard sound. But still, it's a very good album. Re-doing "Hands Down" was a waste of time. It ruined the whole song. // 6

Lyrics: The lyrics were not as good as the other lyrics he wrote. "Hands Down" I think has very good lyrics and so does "Ghost of a Good Thing." "Morning Calls" uses the metaphor 'turpentine' again which doesn't help my vote but the song before it "Am I Missing" has the greatest lyrics and metaphors of any Dashboard song. The other lyrics like the ones in "Carry This Picture" were pointless. End of story. // 6

Overall Impression: Not comparable to other Dashboard albums thats for sure. If you should like any songs, you should like "Ghost of a Good Thing," "Am I Missing," and "Hey Girl." I hated the band. If "Rapid Hope Loss" was acoustic, it would be 10x better. If you like Saves The Day, buy this. Of course, I don't like Saves The Day. // 6

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overall: 8.7
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Reviewed by: ltkenbo, on april 28, 2004
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Sound: Well done musically I think. I have to agree with the author of one of the previous reviews that the acoustic version of "Hands Down" sounds way better than the full band version. One of the previous articles was saying about Chris' voice being kind of whiny sounding. That's like the emo style. I kind of like it. I mean, he doesn't have the very best voice, but I like his style. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrics are well done. Though I don't agree with some of the topics of a few of the songs. The lyrics are well written and flow well. A lot of the songs are about a girl as mentioned. I like the lyrics in the song "Am I Missing." The way they say them in the right along with each other sounds really cool. // 8

Overall Impression: This album was very good. Not as good as other artists I have heard but definitely worth buying I think. I got it for only $10 it was on discount. I haven't bought any of there previous albums, but I've heard many of the songs. I wish they had a few more acoustic songs on this album. I would have to give this a rating of 4. It's not the very best but it is still very good. // 8

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overall: 9.3
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Reviewed by: gapofit, on june 08, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Well, we all know that Dashboard is good. Or should I say Chris is good? I really enjoyed seeing the DVD that came with the CD. It made me feel closer to the real sound, the acoustic richness that filled the old CDs. The sound is enjoyable to the extent of its "emo" ness. I throughly enjoy the sound, even though it is not as pure as it used to be. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are the thing that captured me as a Dashboard fan to begin with. I really didn't even like emo then, and now. The lyrics seem to flow and seem to still capture the essence behind Carraba's "Heart-On-My-sleeve" impressions. Quite entertaining and pondersome I believe. // 10

Overall Impression: As far as comparing to the past albums, it is not as great with the whole band. I think the song that still gets me is either "Rapid Hope Loss" and "If You Can't Leave It Be, Might As Well Make It Bleed." I love the fact that the lyrics are still rich, but I do not really enjoy the sound to the extent I was eager ripping off the plastic for. It is a definite buyer and keeper, and if I lost it, I would definitely buy it again. // 8

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overall: 9.3
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 29, 2004
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Sound: The album starts with a full band version of hands down with in my opinion is not as good as the original acoustic version (track 4 of another year on the streets 1 by vagrant records) but from there on the cd got better and better. There's not 1 song which I dislike. This cd give you a break from all the distortion, solos, etc of alternative music today. // 10

Lyrics: Dashboard Confessional write the best lyrics ever but Chris's high pitched voice gets on your nerves after a while (recomendation do not keep this cd on repeat). // 8

Overall Impression: Did it compare to other albums (artists)? It did very well in my opinion as there's nothing else like it (as far as I know). Most impressive songs from the album are If You Can't Leave It Be, Might As Well Make It Bleed, Carry This Picture & Ghost Of A Good Thing. It's completely different than any other cd I own. The lyric tend to get a bit whinny. Go and buy it give your ears a break! // 10

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overall: 8
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 19, 2004
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Sound: 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. // 6

Lyrics: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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? // 8

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