Sound — 10
Chariot Stripped contains all the songs from original album Chariot plus bonus cover version of "Change Is Gonna Come" from Sam Cooke. As Gavin said in an interview: "I would like for people to get closer to the textures of the human voice..." - this is exactly what this album presents. It sounds like you would be sitting in the same room Gavin and his band are playing. Some songs are just voice-piano others are whole-band-sound. It brings you to the roots of real life performers "In The Good Old Days" where all the extra sound equipment (computers and all other gadgets) wasn't available. Great piano skills, great bandsound and perfect voice. It sounds astonishing!
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics are somewhat deep as the artist describes his own experiences and thoughts. Some may be a bit melancholic, some playful other satirical. You can find very touching metaphores and also very dodgy girl-love lyrics. Overall the good ones prevail. Singing skills as well as the compliance of the lyrics with music is perfectly played-out.
Overall Impression — 10
Gavin DeGraw definetely brings freshness to the table of modern music. He journeys back to the ideology of music where the sound is pure and straight from within the performer, to where the lyrics are poetical and where music and only music is really what matters, not the clothing, whiteness of theeth or other superficiality. Gavin has a great deal of experinces playing live (over 10 years), he plays several instruments (piano, guitar, sax), he writes his own songs and has gathered a great deal of material that is for now available only live. Him getting bigger and more known shows that people still care for "real music."