I’ve always had a soft spot for Yellowcard, because the way they make music is totally unique. They combine great guitar and drum play, mixed with a violin, and on top of that there is the amazing voice of Ryan Key. They released their sixth album in 2011, which they titled When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. This was their first record in nearly 3 years, because they went on an indefinite hiatus in 2008. Needless to say I was beyond excited to hear what the new record would sound like.
The new record kicks off with The Sound Of You And Me. Right from the very beginning, you hear that they are back in a big way. First you hear a distorted guitar, and before you know it you are dragged into the fast paced pop punk/ slower driven rock song. It contains great guitar riffs, blistering drum beats, a violin that is on fire and the powerful voice from their lead singer. All the classical Yellowcard elements that I love so much. It’s a great way to open a record and keeps me stoked for what’s about to come.
So lets move on to the next one. It’s called For You And Your Denial, and it’s the leading single and starts with a violin intro. That’s pretty awesome. Unlike the first song, it’s so clear why they’ve chosen this one as the first single. it has easy lyrics to sing onto and has a much more simple song structure than The Sound Of You And Me. It also contains some dual singing throughout the choruses, which adds something extra to another excellent song.
With that being said, With You Around comes in. This song is great and gives me the typical summer feeling. It’s a catchy as hell and its stuck in your head for days. But that’s something I don’t mind, because this track rocks.
Next, there’s the second single Hang You Up. This song is the perfect time to put up some lighters and get out the tissues. It’s a more depressive rock ballad, but damn it’s a great one. When listening to it, I couldn’t resist to move my hands from left to right.
After this slower intermezzo, Life Of Leaving Home begins. Lyrically this song is about the life of artist. How it is to be an artist, and how your life changes when you become one. Musically it’s heavy and poppy at the same time. For me it’s a grower, but once you like it, you’re hooked.
Let’s talk about the epic track, Hide. This song is special, because die-hard Yellowcard fans know that this song was one of the acoustic demo’s from Big If ( Ryan Key’s and Sean O’Donnell’s project, during Yellowcard’s inactivity). Both members decided to put this project on hold, but they took this song and turned it into the happiest song of the new Yellowcard record.
Hiding is something you can’t allocate to the next song Soundtrack. Right from the first note I got goosebumps. I was blown away and for me it’s my favourite song on album. The great guitar riffs fly around your ears, the drums are marvelous, and the singing is top-notch. Needless to say I’ve never heard something that sounded so perfect from this band.
After a couple of fist pumping songs, it’s time to put the fist down and relax to the third single called Sing For Me. This one is a well-balanced rock ballad. With this song they showcase their ability to write softer songs, that other bands in the genre sometimes fail to execute well. On top of that, they have put out the big guns, by adding a choir to create a deep and intense atmosphere.
This song intensity continues during See Me Smiling. Unlike the other songs, it’s a lot more depressing. It’s about losing someone you really love. But on the other hand it’s definitely a song to put out a lot of courage, during hard times in your life. This is something you can hear throughout the song. First you get a depressing feeling during the first half, but after the song falls apart, it builds up to an end that turns a smile on your face.
Now it’s time for the last stand with the song Be The Young. This track is a perfect way to end the new album. It’s emotionally driven and very powerful at the same time. For the last time you hear Ryan Key sing out everything he’s got. In the middle part it is time for some drumming pleasure. Longineu Parsons gives everything he’s got during the small solo that leads in the breathtaking finale. During this finale group vocals are all over the place, before the last song slowly fades out.
When I first listened to this record I was overwhelmed. They may have been gone for almost 3 years, but they returned bigger and even better. The record combines a lot of elements from the previous records with matured and better songwriting.This results in their most complete effort to date. Well done, Yellowcard and welcome back.