The roaring violin intertwining with guitar on the opening track of Yellowcard’s latest album, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, was the first inclination to me that this band is most definitely back.
After not working together for two years, Yellowcard (Ryan Key, Sean Mackin, Ryan Mendez, Sean O’Donnell, and Longineu Parsons II) connected with each other via email to exchange demos and song ideas, as going to each other’s homes in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Phoenix to hammer out ideas for their seventh album.
“There’s a really fresh energy to it,” lead singer Ryan Key said in a press release. “We didn’t feel like we had to top something we’d already accomplished; it was almost like writing our first record again.”
Violinist Sean Mackin shares Key’s sentiment stating, “I feel like we’re doing it again for the first time. Everyone is so happy to do this. We remember why we do this and it feels incredible. Yellowcard has always been about good friends enjoying music together.”
After my first listen of When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, I felt that the band really just knocked this album out of the park. Everything about the 10-track collection of music was on point. Key’s vocals are stronger and more emotive than ever, the song arrangements are fantastic, and the lyrical content of the songs reveal how this band has grown as not just artists, but as individuals.
What I really appreciate about this album, is how smart the band has been with their choice of singles. After listening through the album in it’s entirety, I feel like “For You, And Your Denial” was the smart choice for the lead single. The music hooks you instantly and is reminiscent of the sound that made people take notice of the Ocean Avenue album.
“Hang You Up,” I feel is more driven by the lyrics. It’s very much a reflective song, and reveals a more mature side of Yellowcard. It’s a song that the audience will listen to and be able to relate the lyrics to their own lives. It’s the contrast between both of these songs that show a musically well-rounded band.
A couple other standout tracks were “With You Around” and “See Me Smiling.”
The first line from “With You Around” (“Do you remember I said you were my only one?”) took me right back to college, because Yellowcard’s “Only One” (off of their album, Ocean Avenue) could be heard blasting out of my dorm room window on a regular basis.
Along with the college memories, what I really like about this track is that it’s a fun love song. It’s definitely a sing-a-long in your car, and makes you smile even if you don’t want to, kind of track. I fully appreciate a song where a guy is reminding a girl how much he is into her.
With “See Me Smiling,” the song reminisces about a friend that passed away 10 years ago. I find that some of the best songs are also the ones that are the most sincere and heartfelt. I find that that’s definitely the case here. The lyrics will pull at your heartstrings, as you nod your head along to the beat.
When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes tells the story of the ups and downs the band has gone through while they’ve been out of the spotlight. The songs are made up of well written and poignant lyrics that will make you sing-a-long or possibly even bring tears to your eyes. You know that record you’ve been looking for to play on repeat for hours on end? You just found it.
Yellowcard’s seventh album, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes is available now.
For more information on Yellowcard, check out their official site.
Definite Download: “Hang You Up”