CD Review: Yellowcard / When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
Reviewed by: Mary Ouellette
When you think Yellowcard a few things come to mind – violin, summer jams, and pop-punk infections even the best of doctors couldn’t cure. It’s been almost three years since we’ve heard from the band and after a brief hiatus; they’re back with their new album When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. I know, I know, the word “hiatus” can be a scary term when applied to bands we’ve grown up on but rest assured this was more of a battery recharging for the band than anything else and they’ve returned full force to the Yellowcard we all know and love. That’s not to say they haven’t matured over the lost years, the new songs carry messages of life that a younger Yellowcard may not have experienced just yet, but the delivery is the same – an in your face assault of driving melodies, goosebump inducing violin, and choruses you’ll be singing at the top of your lungs at the most inopportune times, just because you can.
When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes comes right out of the gate like a champion prize-fighter with “The Sound of You and Me”. The song serves as an appropriate welcome back message to anyone who may still be skeptical going in. It starts off aggressive and builds to one of the best Yellowcard breakdowns on the album with of course the signature violin playing of Sean Mackin chiming in like a long lost friend.
Next up is the first single on the album “For You, and Your Denial”; a smart choice. It starts out with rampant, rich violin which slowly fades into the background of the melody and transitions into a deliciously catchy pop song. Lyrically it’s something that most of us can relate to – having to let go of someone that you can never make happy. Now we can just play them this song – thanks Yellowcard! It’s followed directly by “With You Around” and the two seem to challenge each other to a duel of who will be the catchiest – winner takes all. These two songs really take me back to the Ocean Ave days.
“Hang You Up” is one of my favorite tracks on the album, it’s an unexpected turn, it slows everything down and Ryan Key really shines throughout, proving how powerful his voice can be. “It’s hard to see you we are older now, and when I find you, you just turn around. This is a black and white of you I found. I hang you up and then I pull you down.”The emotions pour out from verse to verse as he sings about not being able to move on from that certain someone. The song shows off the restraint that the band can have when they want to, a quality that many bands are still trying to master.
The album seems to hit its stride right about this point. The band has you back, now it’s time to get serious. “Life of Leaving Home”, “Hide” and “Soundtrack” remind you how great these guys (Ryan Key on vocals and guitar, Sean Mackin on violin, Longineu Parsons on drums, Ryan Mendez on guitar and newcomer Sean O’Donnell on bass) are together as musicians, feeding off of each other and working as a band. They slow it down one more time for “Sing For Me” before closing out on a high note with “See Me Smiling” and “Be The Young”.
The cohesiveness of the album plays like someone’s diary set to music. Covering everything from love lost, reclaimed friendship and saying goodbye forever – it’s a collection of life lessons that we all experience at one time or another and lyrically the band leaves the songs open to enough interpretation where we can easily nestle ourselves into each one to believe they were written just for us. I mean, they were weren’t they?
I do have one minor complaint – ten songs is just not enough; It’s over before you even know it and all you can do is hit repeat. Overall the songs show hints of Yellowcard releases from the past decade from Ocean Avenue, Lights and Sounds and yes, even Paper Walls so even the most finicky of fans should be pleased. The band took their past experiences and played to their strengths on When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. This is a whole new era for the band and in the end this album carves out it’s very own place in history for Yellowcard.
Catch the return of Yellowcard live out on tour with All Time Low on The Dirty Work Tour”
Mar 19 – Lancaster, PA – The Chameleon Club
Mar 22 – Philadelphia, PA – The Electric Factory
Mar 23 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Mar 25 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
Mar 26 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Mar 28 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Mar 29 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
Mar 31 – Ft Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
Apr 01 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues
Apr 02 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Apr 04 – St Louis, MO – The Pageant
Apr 05 – Kansas City, MO – Beaumont Club
Apr 07 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Apr 08 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom
Apr 09 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Waller Creek Outdoor Amph.
Apr 11 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
Apr 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Club Nokia at LA Liv
Apr 13 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
Apr 15 – Anaheim, CA – Grove of Anaheim
Apr 16 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield Theatre
Apr 17 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Apr 18 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Apr 21 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Apr 22 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
Apr 23 – Hougton, MI – Rozsca Center for Perf. Arts
Apr 25 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
Apr 26 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
Apr 28 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore
Apr 29 – Chicago, IL – Congress Theatre
Apr 30 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
May 03 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theater
May 05 – Clifton Park, NY – Northern Lights
May 06 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
May 07 – Baltimore, MD – UMBC Fieldhouse