Alice in Chains' "Unplugged" is a revered album among fans of quote-unquote "grunge" and alternative along with Nirvana's overrated "Unplugged in New York", and for good reason.
This record is much like Alice in Chains' two acoustic EPs (Sap and the highly-regarded Jar of Flies) except it's full length, recorded live, and includes other songs from the band's glorious catalog. None of Alice's well-known heavier songs like "Man in the Box", "We Die Young", and "Them Bones" are included (unless "Would?" and "Rooster" fit your definition of "heavy") and for good reason, as playing them acoustically (or "unplugged" as it was called in the '90s) would sound weird and utterly incoherent. Instead, the band's lighter hits are included along with moderately-heavy lesser known gems that weren't released as singles, such as "Sludge Factory" and "Frogs". In fact, "Frogs", one of the band's darkest songs, has never been played live outside of this concert.
The songs sound fantastic unplugged, especially the aforementioned "Frogs", "Heaven Beside You", "Got me Wrong", and "Brother". The only song I don't completely love is "No Excuses", which was a terrible and annoying pop rock song to begin with, although it doesn't matter too much since the song only lasts around 4 minutes. Had that song not been included, I probably would have given this album a solid 100% score.
The final track, "Killer is Me", was a new song made for the album, perhaps as an extra incentive for people to buy this. It is a highlight and would sound good on "Sap" or "Jar of Flies", although it is sort of weird that this song was placed at the end of the album instead of the aptly named "Over Now", which is second from last for some reason.
There is also quite a bit of lighthearted banter at the end of a few of the tracks, which is a nice distraction from some of the songs' doom and gloom.
It is sort of sad this was Layne Staley's last hurrah on audio before passing away 6 years later, but in the end it is a reminder of what a fantastic singer he was and the magic he could produce at will with Alice in Chains back in the '90s.
3. No Excuses
4. Sludge Factory
5. Down In A Hole
6. Angry Chair
8. Got Me Wrong
9. Heaven Beside You
12. Over Now
13. Killer Is Me