Yellowcard: When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
Although their break-up was brief, it was probably much needed.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been eight years since Yellowcard’s smash album, Ocean Avenue, was released. The album sparked a number of hits including “Ocean Avenue,” “Only One,” and “Way Away,” the latter of which found its way onto Madden NFL 2004, the most popular video game on the planet.
They returned in 2006 with Lights and Sound, which to me is their best and most underrated album. Lights and Sound was a strong departure from Ocean Avenue rearing into a more dark, mature and political record.
In 2007, they released Paper Walls, which is my least favorite Yellowcard record. It just didn’t do it for me.
Following Paper Walls, the band officially went on hiatus only to announce their return in August of 2010 leading up to Tuesday’s release of When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes.
The reason I mention the break-up being much needed is because after Ocean Avenue was released, I feel the band didn’t know which direction to go toward because Lights and Sound and Paper Walls couldn’t really sound different from each other and neither one of them touched the success or the mainstream likability of Ocean Avenue.
The one thing Yellowcard has that makes them so unique is a violinist which puts some extra flare into their music. Yes, it’s weird seeing a violinist in a rock band but at the same time, it’s cool and doesn’t make me feel as big of a nerd when I tell people that I once played the violin in the fourth grade.
So here we are in early 2011 with Yellowcard’s first release in four years and the album is short, only containing 10 songs and I really can’t complain about any of them.
The first track “The Sound of You and Me” starts off a bit slow but really picks up near the two-minute mark where the last two-minutes are more reminiscent of an album closer, rather than an opener. “Bring walls down/ Hear all my sound/ Let me back in/ Love me again,” lead singer Ryan Key repeats over and over again throughout the past two minutes.
It’s not until the second track, which is first single, “For You and Your Denial,” do we hear the noticeable violin, which springs out during the introduction and throughout the entire number. The best track on the album comes in at track four, “Hang You Up,” which is probably the album’s slowest song.
Other standout tracks are the last three songs on the disc, “Sing For Me,” See Me Smiling,” and “Be The Young.”
While the album doesn’t break any new ground whatsoever, it does return to more of a signature Yellowcard sound, which is fast, raw, punk-pop rock that they mastered on Ocean Avenue. If nothing else, it will serve as a decent summer soundtrack to the lives of many.
By Nick Carrabine