Sound — 8
This is probably the best MTV Unplugged session behind Eric Clapton, REM and The Cure. The band is truly in their element in this live record, with the pristine vocals of the incomprable Chris Carrabba leading this 15 song set to glory. Acousticly, no new acts can touch this band. Chris and the band are truly masters of their art and have great chemistry to boot. The only drag about this record is just how much the crowd takes over the singing almost 25% of the time! Maybe it's just cementing their status as a cult favorite, not such a bad thing but as a casual listener it truly does get annoying.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics of Chris Carrabba are extremely narrative and naked (the style of emo obviously dictates this) but it seems that he has a marginal edge over other songwriters such as Chris Roe from The Ataris and those guys from Story Of The Year, Finch, and Taking Back Sunday. His lyrical equivalents would be Rivers Cuomo from Weezer and Jimmy Atkins from Jummy Eat World. But other than his revealing lyrics, he has one ace under his sleeve his beautiful high register. When he sings those "emotional" high bits featured on all of the 15 tracks on this record it always comes as a great contrast for refrence to the music and lyrics in the quiet and loud bits. His whispery, breathy voice is also kind of lullaby-ish (a compliment) which is very great to lose yourself into especially using headphones.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a great introduction to the band or the person, with songs encompassing their (or his) early releases before "A Mark, A Brand, A Mission, A Scar". Highlights include "The Best Deceptions" in which the crowd takes over the singing in the outro, "Remember To Breathe" in which the other band members make a debut in the show (the first two songs were just Chris and his acoustic guitar), "The Places You've Come To Fear The Most" which is a beautiful song to begin with, and of course the then new song "Hands Down" which is possibly the quintesential Dashboard Confessional song. Since Dashboard Confessional is arguebly the best acoustic band (even though they are not any more) that has emerged in the past 5 years this record is an absolute must for lovers of acoustic music!